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As Imperceptibly As Grief Emily Dickinson grew up in a conventionally-religious home and her poetry strongly reflects both the rhythms of the Protestant hymns she heard each Sunday in church and the importance of her religious faith This can easily be seen in her poem As Imperceptibly As Grief Emily Dickinson is known for her rigid form of rhyme and meter she accepted these limitations as she accepted the many other limitations of her reclusive life and worked within their constraints This produced a style that was at once immediately identifiable as Dickinsons and yet capable of endless variation Dickinson inherited a fascination with the subject of death but brought its huge sweeping dramatics down to her world of the concrete In this poem she examines the end of summer in terms of loss comparing it indirectly to that sense of regret and abandonment one feels when one suddenly realizes that a beloved friend or acquaintance is forever gone Again this is not presented with excessive dramatics but it happens as she points out Too imperceptibly to seem like Perfidy The words she uses in this poem as is characteristic of her are elaborate and delicate carefully chosen and carefully arranged Perfidy meaning the betrayal of faith or a trust is an unusual word Like sequestered and distilled and imperceptible and lapsed perfidy requires careful enunciation it is impossible to say in a rush the way one would read a more dramatic poem Thus the diction of the poem itself dictates that it should be read quietly and with care Dickinson capitalizes her nouns throughout this poem Dickinsons work seems somehow antiquated almost quaint That and the dashes she utilizes as punctuation has led many casual readers to dismiss her poetry as the product of an old maid obsessed with religion and death and to fail to see the great insight contained within She is uniquely able to carry
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