What is the tone of the poem "I taste a liquor never brewed" by Emily Dickinson?

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The tone of the poem "I taste a liquor never brewed" by Emily Dickinson is rapturous. However, although the poet seems to be describing the rapturous feeling experienced with intoxication or inebriation by alcoholic liquor, this state is in fact brought on by observance of nature.

When people drink alcoholic beverages and become drunk, they may feel dizzy and euphoric as a result of the effects of the alcohol. Dickinson uses this as a metaphor to describe the natural rapturous effect of being in the midst of nature. The "liquor never brewed" does not have to be made, because it occurs naturally. "Inebriate of air" means that the poet becomes inebriated or drunk just by breathing in fresh air. A "debauchee" is someone addicted to excess, such as excess of alcohol; "reeling" means swaying back and forth as if dizzy through drunkenness. A "tippler" is someone who drinks too much liquor. Additionally, the poet writes of observances of bees and butterflies causing her to "drink the more"—in other words, to open her senses more to the wonders of nature. All of these expressions reinforce the tone of rapturous intoxication that suffuses the poem.

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The tone of "I taste a liquor never brewed" is that of mystical ecstasy. The narrator compares the joy of a summer's day to the joy of being drunk. In the second stanza, she calls herself "an inebriate of the air," meaning she has become drunk from drinking in air. The other words in this stanza, including "debauchee" and "reeling," also convey the sense of utter enjoyment that the narrator experiences in nature. The tone is also mystical because the narrator is so exhilarated by nature that she acquires the supernatural ability to drink more than the bees and butterflies. In addition, in the final stanza, the narrator says that she will continue to drink from the sun even as the angels and saints rush to the windows to see her, adding to the mystical tone of the poem.

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