1.) First, read aloud one of Emily Dickinson’s most famous poems, 479 (“Because I could not stop for Death”). Now read another poem with a similar “death” theme: 591 (“I heard a Fly buzz”) What do these poems reveal about Dickinson’s mood, fears, yearnings, volatile balance of belief and disbelief that might be at the heart of 479? In other words, what does the other poem help you understand about “Because I could not stop for Death”?
2.) What do you make of Dickinson’s unusual punctuation and capitalization? In the poems you reviewed above, how do the dashes–and capitalization (other than the first word in the line) add to the emphasis and meaning?
3.) What does the textbook’s introduction to Dickinson add to your understanding of Dickinson and her poetry? (350 words)
4.) Joining the literary conversation. (a) What main points are made in Ryan’s article? (b) What does he use to support his ideas? (c) Based on your understanding of Emily Dickinson and “I Heard a Fly Buzz,” are his points valid? Explain. Support your ideas.
Here are the sources you will use:
“Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)”
(Skim through all of the poems by Emily Dickinson listed in the textbook.)
Ryan, Michael. “How to Use a Fly.” The American Poetry Review, vol. 33, no. 2, Mar.-Apr. 2004, pp. 15+. Gale In Context:
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