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S.Callegaro - In lands I never saw - they say by Emily Dickinson
[author: Susan Callegaro - postdate: 2007-10-29]

Text: In Lands I Never Saw - they say
Task:  writing a textual analysis


Cultural: reflection on poetry
Linguistic:i mproving writing skills



"In lands I never saw - they say" by Emily Dickinson



The title states that somebody never saw  certain lands, but she can imagine lands that are fantastic and mysterious because she never saw them. Besides the reader probably thinks the poem describes suchlands.






The poet says somebody saw the Alps. Using a personification the poet states the top of the mountains arrives up to the sky and that the  Alps are so high that they seem like gigants. From the top the Alps  look down to the valley where there are a myriad daisies that are moved by the wind.

Finally the poet seems to see people that look like daisies and asks which is her Sir and which person she may be on anAugust day, with this she wants to say that her Sir is a mountain and she is a daisy because she conveys to the reader the idea of her imaginary man strong as a mountain while she is small in front of him and she does not know him.






The poem is organized into two stanzas and it is made up of four lines. At first the reader imagines the picture described by the poet, that is a picture of the mountains: the Alps. Between the two stanzas there is a white space, it creates a pause that lets the reader think about the poem. The second stanza is organized like the first one.

The words chosen by the poet are not casual: they have a second meaning. They mean something different, for example the Alps represent a man.

In the poem there are some anaphors- In the first stanza the word "whose"  is repeated in two lines as are  "touch" and "the", in the second stanza there is only an anaphor:  "which" that is repeated in the third line. Besides there are alliterations like "I" that is repeated in the first and in the second line: "m" is repeated in the second stanza in the fist and in the second line.

There are consonances of the sound "wn"  and of consonant "t" too, in the first stanza "down" and "town", "firmament" and "feet" and "y" of words "play" and "day".

Besides there is a paronomasia of words "saw" and "say".

In the poem there are two rhymes, they are in the firstand in the second stanza. Consider "down and town" and of words "play an day".

The poem is organised in iambic feet, that is they follow the pattern ( ˉ˘unstressed syllables is followed by a stressed one).

The poet uses personifications: the Alps look down, they have got bonnets and sandals that touch something and there are a myriad daisies playing.

Finally the poem is structured to create an imaginet of what is been told and to create a harmony between words.