Fernando Pratagy Cavalheiro
21 February 2016
Sifting “It Sifts from Leaden Sieves”
Thesis: A good example of themed poem is “It Sifts from Leaden Sieves”, written by Emily Dickinson, which has a theme hidden in many metaphors. In this poem, the theme is not explicit and is intertwined with several other minor ideas.
I. The figurative language is strongly present in the “It Sifts from Leaden Sieves” poem, and it represents the strongest particularity.
A. The poem is filled with metaphor, as most of the descriptions or nouns are this figurative language.
1. The theme of this work, which is snow, is only represented by metaphors, and is never mentioned ...view middle of the document...
One of the outstanding characteristics of poetry is that some poems have a theme, and that theme, when present, does not need to be explicit. A good example of themed poem is “It Sifts from Leaden Sieves”, written by Emily Dickinson, which has a theme hidden in many metaphors. In this poem, the theme is not explicit and is intertwined with several other minor ideas.
The strongest particularity of “It Sifts from Leaden Sieves”, by Emily Dickinson, is that the poem presents itself to the audience as a riddle. At first sight, the writer refers to “it” in the title without specifying the actual name of what “it” is, so the audience has question even before reading the first lines. On the following lines, the poem apparently describes events related to the “it” in the title, but never quite revealing or naming the subject. This subject is the very theme of the poem, and after reading the whole poem, the audience may be able to tell that it simply refers to snow. The events used by Dickinson to describe the snow, as the snow was the subject of the actions, can be defined as metaphors. Right at the first stanza, the writer describes the cloudy sky before a snowfall, for the sky looks darkened as the clouds pile up over other clouds with a lead like color. The metaphor consists of the snow connoted as flour being light and clean pouring out of a heavy and leaden sky, or sieve. On the second stanza, the snow metaphor is mixed with a hyperbole when the writer describes the height of the snowfall as being so intense that the powdered “it” of the title, after being sift through leaden sieves, cover plains so deep that they become an even terrain compared to mountains. On to the fourth stanza, the writer uses the metaphor of “a summer’s empty room” to refer to the crops that have been harvested after summer, but with stacks showing up over the snow. These are but a few of the metaphors and indirect references to the snow that Dickinson used, as they are present in every stanza. Although the audience can read the poem and have the words as their literal meaning, this meaning is not necessarily the one intended by the writer.
Despite the non-literal meaning of the poem represented by the snow metaphor, Dickinson also had other...