the prowling Bee: I measure every Grief I meet
Read the full text of the poem I measure every Grief I meet. I measure every Grief I meet. by Emily Dickinson. Home /; Poetry /; I measure every Grief I meet. I measure every Grief I meet by Emily Dickinson. I measure every Grief I meet Learning Guide by PhD students from Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley. In "I measure every Grief I meet," the speaker examines the nature of human suffering. The poem is long by Dickinson standards, filling out a.
In this poem, "every Grief" provides a metonymic reference to a person who is grieving, of whose sorrow the speaker wishes to determine the breadth and depth. She knows the "size" of her own suffering, and thus she wonders if her fellows take their suffering as seriously as she does. Old Pain I wonder if They bore it long — Or did it just begin — I could not tell the Date of Mine — It feels so old a pain — The speaker avers that she speculates about how much time has passed since the griever's suffering began.
She notes that her own has been with her so long that it seems to be as old as pain itself. The Depth of Suffering I wonder if it hurts to live — And if They have to try — And whether — could They choose between — It would not be — to die — The speaker then ponders the possibility that the depth of hurt might cause the suffering one to wish for death; she wonders if the sufferers think about or contemplate making the choice between continuing to live in pain and committing suicide.
The Onset of Complacency I note that Some — gone patient long — At length, renew their smile — An imitation of a Light That has so little Oil — The speaker reports that from her observations she has detected that some of those people in pain have grown so accustomed to their lot that they "renew their smile," but their "imitation" smile is as faint as a lamp with "so little Oil.
Any Balm in Time? I wonder if when Years have piled — Some Thousands — on the Harm — That hurt them early — such a lapse Could give them any Balm — The speaker then wonders if after the passage of "[s]ome Thousands" of years, they might finally have recovered from their original hurt; could such a long period of time be "a lapse" that "[c]ould give them any Balm"? Pain Larger than Love Or would they go on aching still Through Centuries of Nerve — Enlightened to a larger Pain — In Contrast with the Love — The speaker suspects that the suffering might continue, especially if the "pain" grew "larger" than "the Love.
Waxing Philosophical The Grieved — are many — I am told — There is the various Cause — Death — is but one — and comes but once — And only nails the eyes — The speaker then waxes philosophical in stating that many individual have suffered and continue to suffer.
I measure every Grief I meet (561)
Clearly, this speaker knows this fact largely from what she had heard and read. She is not omniscient. The speaker has likely been advised that many reasons exist for so much suffering in the world.
Death is one cause only.
Reading in IB: Poetry Analysis: I measure every Grief I meet
While "death" is thought to happen to each individual only once, this speaker realizes that death "only nails the eyes. The real "self" or soul transcends death's reach, as this speaker understands. Consolation in Christ And though I may not guess the kind — Correctly — yet to me A piercing Comfort it affords In passing Calvary — The speaker finally realizes that although she cannot ascertain the origin of the pain, she finds a deep measure of consolation from the experience and struggles of the blessed Lord Jesus.
A Spiritual Duty To note the fashions — of the Cross — And how they're mostly worn — Still fascinated to presume That Some — are like My Own — As the speaker observes the many styles of crosses people over the centuries have worn and borne, she realizes that suffering is universal and shared, and while such knowledge does not alleviate the suffering, it does demonstrate that there is a divine purpose, and that fact makes the act of bearing grief a spiritual duty, which ultimately leads to divine Bliss.
Dickinson's Titles Emily Dickinson did not provide titles to her 1, poems; therefore, each poem's first line becomes the title.
Life Sketch of Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson remains one of the most fascinating and widely researched poets in America. This poem demonstrates self-pity at it's finest, something that I can relate to because there are times when I choose to believe that whatever I'm dealing with is worse than the next person.
Also, the idea of seeking comfort in other people's pain is also something that I can identify with because it's always easier to deal with a problem when you realize other people are going through it too. In these two lines, Dickinson is associating death with blindness; this seems to be a constant idea throughout her poems and it's interesting to see the different perspectives on death in different poems.
Emily Dickinson's "I measure every Grief I meet"
The tone of the poem is one of melancholy and hopelessness. I feel like the speaker is constantly weighing other people's grief in order to prove that her grief is far more potent than theirs. In the fifth stanza, her tone sort of turns hopeful because she seems to be hoping for time to heal her wounds, wondering if time "Could give them any Balm-".
The last two stanzas also welcome a change in tone. Although it's still negative, at least the speaker finds some consolation through other people's grief.
This is highlighted in the line: In terms of imagery, I really like how the speaker compare's people's smile to a lamp.
Emily Dickinson's "I measure every Grief I meet" | Owlcation
By the s, Dickinson lived in almost complete isolation from the outside world, but actively maintained many correspondences and read widely. She spent a great deal of this time with her family. Her father, Edward Dickinson, was actively involved in state and national politics, serving in Congress for one term.
Her brother, Austin, who attended law school and became an attorney, lived next door with his wife, Susan Gilbert. Lavinia and Austin were not only family, but intellectual companions for Dickinson during her lifetime.
Dickinson's poetry was heavily influenced by the Metaphysical poets of seventeenth-century England, as well as her reading of the Book of Revelation and her upbringing in a Puritan New England town, which encouraged a Calvinist, orthodox, and conservative approach to Christianity.
Though she was dissuaded from reading the verse of her contemporary Walt Whitman by rumors of its disgracefulness, the two poets are now connected by the distinguished place they hold as the founders of a uniquely American poetic voice.
While Dickinson was extremely prolific as a poet and regularly enclosed poems in letters to friends, she was not publicly recognized during her lifetime.