'Of all the Sounds despatched abroad' by Emily Dickinson

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Of all the Sounds despatched abroad,
There's not a Charge to me
Like that old measure in the Boughs—
That phraseless Melody—
The Wind does—working like a Hand,
Whose fingers Comb the Sky—
Then quiver down—with tufts of Tune—
Permitted Gods, and me—

Inheritance, it is, to us—
Beyond the Art to Earn—
Beyond the trait to take away
By Robber, since the Gain
Is gotten not of fingers—
And inner than the Bone—
Hid golden, for the whole of Days,
And even in the Urn,
I cannot vouch the merry Dust
Do not arise and play
In some odd fashion of its own,
Some quainter Holiday,
When Winds go round and round in Bands—
And thrum upon the door,
And Birds take places, overhead,
To bear them Orchestra.

I crave Him grace of Summer Boughs,
If such an Outcast be—
Who never heard that fleshless Chant—
Rise—solemn—on the Tree,
As if some Caravan of Sound
Off Deserts, in the Sky,
Had parted Rank,
Then knit, and swept—
In Seamless Company—

Editor 1 Interpretation

Of all the Sounds Despatched Abroad: A Literary Criticism

Emily Dickinson is a master of the art of poetry, and her works continue to inspire and educate readers around the world. One of her most striking and memorable poems is "Of all the Sounds Despatched Abroad," a piece that resonates with its readers because of its evocative imagery and emotional depth.

This poem is a rich tapestry of themes and meanings, so let's take a closer look at it.

The Title

First, the title is intriguing. What does "despatched abroad" mean? The word "despatched" suggests a sense of urgency, as if the sounds in question are being sent out into the world with a specific purpose in mind. And "abroad" implies a vastness, a sense of expansiveness - this is a poem about sounds that are reaching far and wide.

The Structure

The poem is structured as a list of sounds that the speaker hears. The sounds range from pleasant to unsettling, and they come from a variety of sources: nature, humanity, and even the speaker's own body.

Each sound is described in a brief, vivid image. For example, the poem opens with the line: "Of all the sounds despatched abroad, / There's not a charge to me / Like that old measure in the boughs, / That phraseless melody."

The "old measure in the boughs" is a reference to birdsong, and the "phraseless melody" suggests that the beauty of the sound is in its formlessness. The speaker is not interested in the meaning of the song, but rather in its emotional impact.

The Themes

The poem is filled with themes that are common in Dickinson's poetry. One of the most prominent themes is the idea of connection between the speaker and the world around her. The sounds she hears connect her to nature, to other people, and to her own body.

For example, in the second stanza, the speaker describes the sound of the sea: "The seas wash up my feet, / The maple sweats in the sun." Here, the speaker is physically connected to the world, feeling the sand and the sun on her skin. The sound of the sea is not just an aural experience - it is a sensory one.

Another theme in the poem is the idea of mortality. The speaker hears sounds that remind her of death and decay, such as "The creak of boots that tramp the floor / Is as sagging door / That aches ajar." The sound of footsteps becomes a symbol of the inevitable march towards death.

But despite the dark undertones of some of the sounds, the poem is ultimately a celebration of life. The sounds that the speaker hears are all part of the rich tapestry of existence, and they remind her of the beauty and wonder of the world.

The Interpretation

So what does it all mean? "Of all the Sounds Despatched Abroad" is a poem that celebrates the connections between the speaker and the world around her, and the emotional impact of the sounds she hears. It is a reminder that life is precious, and that even the most mundane sounds can be imbued with meaning and beauty.

But the poem also reminds us of the inevitability of death, and the way that even the most beautiful sounds are tinged with a sense of loss. The speaker is acutely aware of the fleeting nature of existence, and the poem is a testament to the power of sound to capture and express this sense of transience.

The Conclusion

In short, "Of all the Sounds Despatched Abroad" is a beautiful and complex poem that rewards close reading and interpretation. It is a testament to the power of language and sound to connect us to the world around us, and to the beauty and fragility of life itself. It is a poem that inspires us to listen more closely, to pay attention to the sounds that surround us, and to appreciate the wonder and mystery of existence.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Of all the Sounds despatched abroad: An Analysis of Emily Dickinson's Classic Poem

Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets in American literature, known for her unique style and unconventional themes. Her poem "Of all the Sounds despatched abroad" is a classic example of her work, and it has been analyzed and interpreted by scholars and enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will delve into the poem's meaning, structure, and literary devices, and explore why it has stood the test of time.

The poem begins with the line "Of all the Sounds despatched abroad," which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the piece. The word "despatched" suggests a sense of urgency and purpose, as if the sounds are being sent out on a mission. The speaker then goes on to describe various sounds that are "despatched abroad," such as "Nature's busy Hands," "the Village Choir," and "the Cricket's long delay." These sounds are all part of the natural world, and they are presented as if they are performing a symphony for the listener.

The poem's structure is simple but effective. It consists of three stanzas, each with four lines. The first and third lines of each stanza rhyme, while the second and fourth lines do not. This creates a sense of balance and symmetry, which is fitting for a poem about the harmony of nature. The poem's meter is also consistent, with each line containing four stressed syllables. This gives the poem a sense of rhythm and musicality, which reinforces the idea of nature as a symphony.

One of the most striking features of the poem is its use of personification. The sounds that are "despatched abroad" are given human qualities, such as "busy Hands" and "long delay." This makes the sounds seem more alive and active, as if they are characters in a play. The personification also reinforces the idea that nature is a symphony, with each sound playing a specific role in the performance.

Another literary device used in the poem is imagery. The speaker describes the sounds in vivid detail, using sensory language to create a picture in the reader's mind. For example, the "Village Choir" is described as "chanting to the Trees," which creates a visual image of a group of people singing in a forest. The "Cricket's long delay" is described as "like rustling Taffeta," which creates an auditory image of a soft, rustling sound. The use of imagery helps to bring the poem to life and make the sounds more tangible for the reader.

The poem's theme is the beauty and harmony of nature. The speaker is in awe of the sounds that are "despatched abroad," and she sees them as evidence of the natural world's perfection. The poem celebrates the diversity of sounds in nature, from the "Village Choir" to the "Cricket's long delay," and suggests that each sound has a unique role to play in the symphony of life. The poem also suggests that nature is a source of comfort and solace, as the speaker finds peace in the sounds that surround her.

Overall, "Of all the Sounds despatched abroad" is a beautiful and evocative poem that celebrates the beauty and harmony of nature. The poem's use of personification, imagery, and structure all contribute to its effectiveness, and its theme is one that resonates with readers of all ages. Emily Dickinson's unique style and unconventional themes have made her one of the most beloved poets in American literature, and this poem is a classic example of her work.

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