Poem 144 is about two types of escapes. This Emily Dickinson poem is featured on our website as part of our Emily Dickinson Month.
Emily Dickinson Month
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst (Massachusetts, US). She gained fame after she died in 1886. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1890. Today, she still has a lot of fans from all over the world. Her literary legacy contains more than 1,800 poems. It is her life of seclusion that gave her a mythical status. This poetess can be considered as one of the greatest poets in history. Not only, when it comes to American literature. The work of Dickinson is translated into many different languages, so many people had the chance to get acquainted with her work.
During the last month of December, we decided to place this poetess in the spotlight in the Emily Dickinson Month.
Escape and escape…
In this poem, there are two types of escapes mentioned in this poem. When reading the poem at first, you will immediately notice that Dickinson wrote about a quick escape: flying. There is need to get away, quickly, because any sudden movement can cause danger.
When taking a look at the second stanza, the poem becomes darker – the typical Dickinson “darkness.” She emphasizes what escape can be too: an escape from imprisonment. Or an escape from a battlefield. These stories she reads, they remind her of her own prison and the way she isn’t able to get out of it. Maybe this is the true essence of the poem: how a soul can feel when someone feels like they are trapped. But this is Dickinson, so who knows…
I never hear the word ‘Escape’
Without a quicker blood,
A sudden expectation –
A flying attitude!
I never hear of prisons broad
By soldiers battered down,
But I tug childish at my bars,
Only to fail again!