Poem 280 – “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain”

Poem 280 – “I felt a Funeral in my Brain “

There is a good chance that the 280th poem by Emily Dickinson is the first work you read. For many of us, this poem is the introduction to Emily Dickinson. There is a good reason for this because the poem is often quoted and recited. People consider this as a scary kind of poem. This is the analysis of Poem 280 – “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain.”

About Poem 280

There is a good chance that you decided to open this page to read more about this poem. Good for you! You’ve found a website that analyses poetry and promotes modern-day poets. Furthermore, The Ministry of Poetic Affairs (this website) helps poets in different ways.

For those who aren’t writing poetry and need to have clarification about this poem, The Ministry of Poetic Affairs also offers services. Services like analysing poems such as these. Yes, there are many more poems she wrote. Around 1.800.

Dickinson holds a reputation these days and it’s based on this poem. She is the woman in dark clothes, who stayed home and wrote dark poems. Well, that’s one way to describe her. She wrote so many more poems. Not all dark. Many of them inspiring.

Poem 280, please?

The Ministry of Poetic Affairs started the website in 2016 and many people kept asking for an analysis of this poem. Some needed more information for school or study, while others were struggling with the words.

It’s interesting to see how many people need information about this poem. It was featured in the top 10 list of searches between 2016 and 2018. In 2018, the project (The Ministry of Poetic Affairs) was paused. As of 2020, all the articles have been rewritten, including this one. That is why you’re halfway in this article and didn’t read anything even close to analysing this poem. There is a good reason to do this.

Since this poem and the analysis was read so well, it was a good idea to put in some extra information. Information about The Ministry of Poetic Affairs. This is an online poetry platform. Not just here for the diseased poets. No, those who are alive can benefit from our services. Some are free, some aren’t. You can read more about the services on this page.

And now, the analysis?

True, it would be an excellent time to start with the analysis of this poem! Let’s just wait a moment and think about the legacy of Emily Dickinson. How is it possible that a nineteenth-century poetess is so popular today? Well, this is because of her life. Her life as a single woman, who never left her house. Yet, she reached out to the world. She kept correspondences with many friends.

Her writing style is different from the one that is used by modern-day poets. Writing style and even a language can change. If you compare the works of Dickinson to poets who wrote centuries before her, you will also notice the difference. There is nothing wrong with that.

Her writing style is different from the one that is used by modern-day poets. Writing style and even a language can change. If you compare the works of Dickinson to poets who wrote centuries before her, you will also notice the difference. There is nothing wrong with that.

Yes, yes, but I want to read what this poem is about!

Simple...

Simple, this poem is about a funeral! Let’s start there. She uses the word funeral as a metaphor. A metaphor to emphasise that a part of her is in pain or even dying. During this period she loses the sense of reality. It seems that she is falling (down) and there is no way to get up.

The poem was the result of her most creative period. She wrote this poem in 1861 and it’s a typical Dickens poem. It’s strong, it leans on metaphors and it shows emotions.

Words that come to mind, when reading this poem are madness or despair. That’s exactly what’s going on. Because of the word funeral, it seems that death plays an important role. It does.

Unlike what you might believe, Dickinson isn’t the one who’s died…

Did you ever experience something emotional or even traumatic? When this happened, did you ever think something like “This cannot be true?” It’s a logic thought related to grief and even trauma. The realisation that it did happen leans heavily on us. The realisation that it’s never going to be like before.

When someone dies there are three stages: grief and disbelief, anger and the realisation it happened. This poem is somewhere in this process. It’s the grief, but also the disbelief. Perhaps even the anger and finally – when the plank breaks – it’s the realisation about what has happened and who she is missing.

Unfortunately for Dickinson, it’s the silence that comes from important questions that echo and can make someone insane. In a way, this is insanity. To lose your mind about the loss of someone you deeply love.

Is that enough?

The Ministry of Poetic Affairs does more than analysing poems such as these. A wide variety of poems is analysed. Suggestions are welcome! Even more welcome: your analysis! Contact The Ministry of Poetic Affairs to find out what you can do!

Poem 280 - "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain"

Poem 280 – “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain”

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here –

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –

Free Promotion

Subscribe to the newsletters

Subscribing to the newsletters of The Ministry of Poetic Affairs is always free. You can ubsubscribe at any moment.