A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘I died for Beauty, but was scarce’

Posted: August 3, 2017 by vequinox in Literature

Interesting Literature

A reading of a classic poem

‘I died for Beauty – but was scarce’ – poem number 449 in Emily Dickinson’s Complete Poems – is one of her most popular poems, but, like so much of her work, its meaning remains difficult to pin down and analyse. Nevertheless, here at Interesting Literature we like a challenge, and so below we offer a brief summary and analysis of ‘I died for Beauty’ – its enigmatic lyrical beauty, its unusual tableau, and its use of symbols.

I died for Beauty – but was scarce
Adjusted in the Tomb
When One who died for Truth was lain
In an adjoining Room –

He questioned softly ‘Why I failed’?
‘For Beauty’, I replied –
‘And I – for Truth – Themself are one –
We Brethren are’, He said –

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