Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Brain by Emily Dickinson

The Brain - is wider than the Sky -
For - put them side by side -
The one the other will contain
With ease - and You - beside -

The Brain is deeper than the sea -
For - hold them - Blue to Blue -
The one the other will absorb -
As Sponges - Buckets - do -

The Brain is just the weight of God -
For - Heft them - Pound for Pound -
And they will differ - if they do -
As Syllable from Sound.


     I found this poem very interesting because Dickinson compared the brain, an object that weighs no more than 5 pounds with the sky, the sea and then even with God, objects that are immeasurable due to their great size and breadth. She raises the argument that the brain is wider than the sky and deeper than the sea because the brain can incorporate the entire universe into itself. Humans can grasp the immensity of such large objects all within the brain, a much smaller object. In this way, the brain "contains" the sky and "absorbs" the sea. Dickinson finishes by arguing the brain to be on a level playing field with God. The only difference is that the brain can be seen and proven like a syllable while God is intangible like sound. Dickinson's extreme comparisons are what caused this poem to catch my eye, and ultimately, what caused me to gain such an appreciation for the poem.

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