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One dignity delays for all Analysis

Author: Poetry of Emily Dickinson Type: Poetry Views: 1506

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One dignity delays for all-

One mitred Afternoon-

None can avoid this purple-

None evade this Crown!Coach, it insures, and footmen-

Chamber, and state, and throng-

Bells, also, in the village

As we ride grand along!What dignified Attendants!

What service when we pause!

How loyally at parting

Their hundred hats they raise!Her pomp surpassing ermine

When simple You, and I,

Present our meek escutheon

And claim the rank to die!


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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It is possible that the poem talks of a funeral procession, however, it is also possible that they are soldiers that go off to war. Escutcheon, as well as meaning coat of arms, means shield, and why would you take a shield to your death? Does everyone not stop for the marching army as it leaves the safety of the city to go to war to fight for their country, that no one can escape the conscription ordered by the king? I do not disagree with the other interpretations, as they hold more value that this one.

| Posted on 2010-11-10 | by a guest

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The poem's message is that no matter how common a person, we all become entitled to grand ceremony when we die. It is the one dignity that waits for every person. The coach is the hearse, the footmen the undertakers, and the bells are ringing in the church. "State" refers to a high rank, and throngs of people gather behind the casket of a nobleman or a king. The lines here follow the details of the funeral procession and when the hats are removed is when the casket is placed in the grave. This ceremony is described as pomp greater than "ermine" which kings and other highly ranked officials would wear lined on their robes. The "meek escutcheon" is a term for the humanity of "simple you and I." Meek is referring to something humble, and an escutcheon is a coat of arms, normally placed on a sheild. This means that our common humanity is like our crest that gives us a high rank. Death is the rank we claim that grants us a lavish ceremony, and even the most common person recieves it.

| Posted on 2007-11-24 | by a guest

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I think that the poem is symbolic of Christ's struggle to die for humanity. Dickinson's use of allusion here, however, seems to undermine the subject content. She playfully describes the march through Jerusalem as riding "grand along!" The tone here seeks to justify the fact that he was heading for death, and in the third stanza, the willing murderers "raise" their "hats" in praise of Christ's death. However, the 15th line reiterates the idea that Christ was meek in his effort to die for his. Likewise, we must face our future with a certain meekness, knowing that we're not in charge of anything.

| Posted on 2006-02-13 | by Approved Guest

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