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It Dropped So Low Essay

1011 words - 5 pages

[“It dropped so low- in my regard”]
There are countless ways to interpret any given poem. While the author of the poem knows exactly what they are saying, the reader may decide that it is entirely different for them. Emily Dickinson’s poems are very highly interpreted, due to the fact that she is one of the best loved and most celebrated American poets. Each of her poems is seamlessly woven to create an image that can be both beautifully literal and metaphorical. Her poem [“It dropped so low- in my regard”] is a fine example of this. While literally about a broken piece of crockery, this poem can actually be interpreted as a metaphor for Emily Dickinson’s complicated, lonely love life.
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There was one other romantic relationship in the poet’s life that we know of. This was with Judge Otis Philips Lord. The romance was late in the poet’s short life, and is confirmed by letters and family references. Lord was also married, but the relationship between Emily and himself supposedly did not fully develop until after his wife’s death. There was some talk of marriage, but this never came to fruition, as Lord died in 1884, two years before Emily. While we have no proof that the poem [“It dropped so low- in my regard”] is a metaphor for the lost love in Dickinson’s life, we have no reason to think that it couldn’t be.
The tone of this poem is one of strong disillusionment. It consists of two quatrains, and is in iamb. It uses a ballad stanza, which uses tetrameter for the first and third lines and trimeter for the second and fourth lines. Dickinson employs an ABCB rhyme scheme. While lines 6 and 8 feature a perfect rhyme, “myself” and “shelf”, lines 2 and 4 are a slant rhyme, which Dickinson commonly uses in her poems. We assume that the speaker is herself, as is the case in most of her poetry.
The first quatrain of the poem shows the breaking of something, or disenchantment. The first word of the poem is an unnamed “it”. Savannah Schroll Guz , an author and lecturer, in her article “Dickinson's ‘It Dropped So Low in My Regard’: A Self-Effacing Metaphor” said, “Dickinson left ‘it’ unnamed because without concrete definition, it maintains a universal profundity. Such disenchanting revelations happen to everyone, and this poem tacitly acknowledges that,” (Guz para 5). In the lines “It dropped so low- in my regard/ I heard it hit the ground” (lines1-2), the stress falls on words like “dropped” , “low”, and “hit”. From this beginning and these word choices, we can imagine the crockery, or the allusion of...

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