How is personification used in "Heart! we will forget!" ?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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"Heart, we will forget" is one of Miss Dickinson's shorter poems, a poem written in apostrophe to her heart, which she personifies. The speaker of the poem calls upon the heart to help her to erase her memory of a person she has loved by asking it to "forget the warmth he gave" while she forgets how he illuminated her life, making all things more joyous.

Heart, we will forget him!
You and I to-night!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me,
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you're lagging,
I may remember him!

Further, the speaker exhorts her heart (that is personified) to inform her when it is finished with its work of forgetting so that she can diminish her memory of her lover. She urges her heart to work quickly lest she "may remember him!" Certainly, then, the speaker depends upon her heart to remove memories from itself so that she may forget the happiness and love which she once knew. Her heart is much like a friend, or a person who is very close to the speaker, a person who would help her reach autonomy.

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