Emily Dickinson Writing Styles in I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

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"I felt a Funeral, in my Brain" is written in alternating lines of iambic tetrameter (four iambs per line) and iambic trimeter (three iambs per line). While this is one ofDickinson's most often used meters, its specific usefulness here lies in the ways that it reinforces in the reader's ear the steady progression of the forces that cause the speaker's mental or spiritual breakdown. In a poem such as this, where the sounds heard by the speaker are used as metaphors for her state of mind, the meter takes on added importance. In the first stanza, for example, the steady beat of the mourners' footsteps ("Kept treading—treading—till it seemed / That Sense was breaking through") is reinforced by the treading sound of the lines.

The same is true for the "Service, like a Drum" in stanza two, which "Kept beating—beating—till I thought / My...

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This section contains 254 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the I felt a Funeral, in my Brain Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.