My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close Criticism

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" My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close" has been viewed by many critics as a poem about the act, by God or man, of revealing something surprising and not known before. The critic Martha Hale Shack-ford, writing in the Atlantic Monthly, sees the poem's speaker as a "voice of tragic revelation." Shackford explains that Dickinson was not so much a philosopher as she was an observer of life, gifted with the ability to express profound emotions.

Another critic, Conrad Aiken, offers an interesting interpretation of the poem in his book Collected Criticism. He points out Dickinson's obsession with death, noting it as a persistent theme in her poetry. He writes, "she seems to have thought of it constantly—she died all her life, she probed death daily." Aiken goes on to explain how the theme of death is present in some of her "sharpest" work, noting that her...

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This section contains 225 words
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Poetry for Students
My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.