Discuss both the poet's style and content in I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed.

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huntress | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Emily Dickinson's style is unique to her. She was fond of capitalizing words she felt were important and punctuating her lines with dashes, forcing her audience to pause (more than a comma might). Her rhythm and meter is consistent in almost all of her poetry. This one is in quatrains (four lines to a stanza) with alternating iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter (that is, each "foot" of the meter is an iamb, meaning it sounds like a heartbeat, as in a-LONE); tetrameter refers to a line of poetry that has four feet per line, and trimeter has three. (The third line is the only one that breaks the meter; it is trimeter instead of tetrameter as we might expect.)

Her end-rhyme is also consistent, except for the first stanza, where there is none (but the rhythm carries us through nicely): xaxa, xbxb.... (where "x" is an unrhymed word). 

The content of this poem is essentially her being high on life. She doesn't drink alcohol, but she's drunk on the air ("inebriate of air"). She is a "debauchee of dew," meaning she overindulges herself in her appreciation of nature, "reeling" through summer days. She even refers to the Little Dipper constellation as the "Little Tippler [drunkard]" who will have to lean upon the sun like the sot he is, and even then, she will not stop "drinking" the joy of nature. 

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