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I Died for Beauty but Was Scarce

In the poem "I died for beauty- but was scarce” Emily Dickinson communicates that beauty and truth are one in the same. They prove falsely to the authority of God and create artificial hopes. The author's diction puts emphasis on certain words by capitalizing the first letter such as "When One who died for Truth”. Dickinson organizes the poem into three paragraphs. The first sets the scene, the second communicates the reoccurring theme with dialogue and the third closes, finalizing the theme. With the use of heifens and dashes, the syntax of the poem flows in such a way that the reader only pauses slightly. There are no periods to create any stops. Dickinson writes in such a way that it can be viewed as a sort of flow of consciousness writing. The author is sharing her thoughts. Dickinson illustrates that those who support both Truth and Beauty will be together in death for comfort and that it will result in oblivion without eternity. The author uses "slant rhyme” until the end where the word "names” clashes with "rooms” in order to put emphasis on that final word, "names”. It is important because a name is part of ones identity. Dickinson demonstrates that truth and beauty are elusive, while death overtakes us all in the end creating a pessimistic tone. The author uses fewer words to produce a cadence with a meter that reinforces "I died for Beauty-but was scarce.” The quote, "We bretheren are” illustrates the authors purpose in exposing that truth and beauty walk hand in hand. "Moss” is used to demonstrate the oblivion that one must face who support only Truth and beauty. The poem concludes with the moss overtaking them. Dickinson uses imagery and a juxtaposed contradiction, "I died for Beauty-but was scarce.”


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I Died for Beauty but Was Scarce. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 15:16, July 23, 2016, from