Emily Dickinson Questions and Answers

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What is the complete poetry explication of "There's been a Death, in the Opposite House," word by word? Today, I read this poem aloud and explicated it in front of the class.  Halfway through my explication, my AP English teacher interrupted me, and tore me apart in front of the entire class. He claimed that my explication was deeply flawed and, yet, did not give a reason why.  He decided to give me a second chance, and so I really want to know this poem, backwards and forwards, so that I can provide a good explication.  Please help me.

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Dickinson continues her obsession with death in this poem, though she is not the narrator. In line 12 she says, "I used to when a boy." Here, she a boy who is merely an observer of a death that has happened in the house across the street.

The first line of the poem is significant as it doesn't following Dickinson's normal iambic tetrameter (a pattern of four unstessed-stressed syllables.) She wants to draw attention to that line by making it irregular in its meter because this is the topic of the poem--the death in the other house. The rest of the stanza (lines 2-4) scan regularly, which supports what Dickinson writes in those lines. She personifies the house as looking numb, as though the house could tell something awful happened inside of it. These stanzas are perhaps in regular meter to underscore the numbness people feel when a loved one has died.

The next time Dickinson deviates is line 8: "Abrupt, mechanically." This supports the above mentioned idea that the house is being...

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