Thursday, May 14, 2020

If I were as tall as they?

The first two lines of Emily Dickinson's "Will there really be a 'morning'" (148) establish trochaic tetrameter as the poem's meter (with the final unstressed syllable of the second line omitted to form a "tailless" or "catalectic" line). The next two lines can easily be read the same way in a fairly neutral tone. Yet in both lines, the opening trochee could also be inverted to put a quite convincing stress on "I" that implies that the speaker wonders if she, too, could do what others do. This alternative emphasis adds a personal urgency to the question that reflects back on the first two and makes them seem less neutral, too. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 14 May)


Will there really be a "morning"?

Is there such a thing as "Day"?

Could I see it from the mountains

If I were as tall as they?

No comments: