Poem Knows How to Forget by Emily Dickinson Free Essay Example

April 13, 2022 by Essay Writer

The poem “Knows how to forget” was written by Emily Dickerson, a celebrated poet born in 1830. Years after her death, her works of art has stood the test of time. She has inspired most American poets and set standards for poetry at large. Under her name she left over a thousand poems .During her time, unexpected of an, artist, she was an introvert. She rarely socialised and most of the time she was in white clothes

Like most of her poems that have gone to hall of fame, the poem “knows how to forget “was release right after her death.

Before her death, she had ordered the destruction of all her poems. Fortunately or unfortunately a good number of her poems never got destroyed. Her poems were majorly for personal consumption. None of her projects were meant for the public. It’s baffling how then the poems got to the public and went so viral.

From the poem, we can tell that it’s easy for the hearts to remember than it is to forget.

In the first verse, “it”, refers to her current situation. She has not learnt the art to forget. She is trying to ask for help from a school of thought, which she refers a philosophers teaching. The tone Dickerson uses in the poem is sceptical. She ridicules the idea by saying that forgetting is the easiest art of them all, as everyone “they” says. The dull and the depressed have died with knowledge acquisition. But in reality, this is particularly not the case because scientific experiences do not cause such.

Schools never taught subjects as practical as such. The poet notes. Since then until now, no such programme has been enrolled into any of our schools though we can’t dispute how interesting the curriculum would be.

Is there any hope of such a programme being introduced? Most likely not. Am yet to come across a school teaching such a practical subject like,”how to forget”. Dickerson recalls she never learnt how to forget in maths or geography in school. It takes an elite philosopher to master the art .Dickerson in the poem wishes that she was equally learned as the philosophers to know how to forget. This paints a picture of the amount of pain she might be going through and how she would do anything to forget her miseries. She wishes that she had saved her ideas in a book. This sounds rhetorical since she has never had any ideas on how to forget.

Dickerson continues to ridicule “it”. She wishes that her sorrows were like a planet or an invention with a patent. What she is trying to mean is that If it would have been something with an owner, she could have either taken it back to the author or she could have at least had someone to consult and even help her destroy “it”.

At the end of her poem she expresses her frustrations. She has likely tried every possible option at her disposal and none has worked for her. Thereafter she results to consult her supreme being. She opts for prayers. She ends up pleading with Jesus, the master of the New Testament. She calls out and asks him for help. In addition she also questions his love towards her. This is not the first time she is going before him. She acknowledges that he has pleaded with him before but no help has come her way yet. She is most likely not a quitter because there are no signs of him giving up any time soon. She is focussed and determined to end whatever is eating her up. She will never settle until she achieves what she wants.

Throughout the poem is a hidden theme, which is death. It’s always very painful when one loses someone he or she loves to death. This can be your friend or a family friend or even a relative. The speaker, who is Dickerson, throughout the art work, she is trying to question the different sources that she knows of but none provides the answer she requires. Conventionally, one will expect him to question the reason for occurrence of such an event but her, all she wants is the formula to forget. Dickerson is very much aware that if a person dies, then that is the end of you seeing him. She is yet to come into terms with the situation.

The poem is emotional.one can actually relate with the persona because of the emotional words she has used. Reading it reminds one of the moment in her life, if any, when he or she lost someone of importance to him. What makes it hard for the bereaved is that they have to continue with their life without either their partners, there parent or even there friend. Once they are gone, that’s it. They will remain be to part of your life even though you will never meet with them again. It’s for this reason that Dickerson is grieving with pain seeking answers to questions that she will probably never get.

The idea of forgetting something is false hope according to the poem. Especially death. What one can do is to put the memory away momentarily but again soon or later the memories kick in again. What is meant to be forgotten is what can only be forgotten. The fact that Dickson is seeking answers without getting any tells one that there is actually no particular formula for forget something .

The duration of the memories also varies with the importance of the person or thing that one has lost.it will take a shorter time to forget that you lost a phone compared to the time you will actually take to forget that you lost someone to death. Perhaps, it will take a shorter period of time forgetting the death of a neighbour compared to that which you will take to forget the death of your family member.

In conclusion, the poems mostly relate with people who have issues on their mind that they have been trying to forget without success. By reading and analysing it you will realise that you do not forget something by saying that you want. Rather what happens is that the memory shifts to the unconscious part of your brain. Therefore the intervals at which the brain will retrieve the memory is lengthened


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