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‘After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Come’ by Emily Dickinson

Management 1650 Words 6 Pages
Paper Details


The English 103 research paper (5 to 7 pages minimum plus works cited page with a minimum of five secondary sources, both print and online) is a well-researched, close textual analysis of a the poem "After great pain, comes a formal feeling" by the poet Emily Dickinson. (Minimum: five secondary sources), arranged in correct bibliographical form following the MLA format. Your list should include print sources. You are looking for material from books, journals, and online sources (start with the web site devoted to ED) that will support your position, add to the development of your argument, and/or possibly suggest additional approaches. Incorporate a blend of new criticism/formalist with biographical. And also include a sentence outline for the research paper.


  • Title: ‘After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Come’ by Emily Dickinson
  • Length: 6 pages (1650 Words)
  • Style: MLA


‘After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Come’ by Emily Dickinson

The poem ‘After great pain, a formal feeling come’ was written by Emily Dickinson. It is a description of the aftermath of huge suffering and the advent of death. She wrote it in an opaque, and suggestive style making it easier for the audience to comprehend. Nonetheless, it is hard to narrow down to a precise meaning in most of her poems. Such an ambiguity makes her work mind-boggling and powerful. However, a close textual analysis of the poem reveals various literary devices such as imagery, themes, and motifs.


‘After great pain, a formal feeling comes’ is clearly a way of relaying to the audience the nature of the encounter coming from ‘great pain.’ Emily used imagery for this reason and the first line which indicates the subject of the poem is just an abstract statement (Jackson 98). The pain, in this case, is not physical but mental leaving the mind numbed. In addition, the nerves she states, ‘sit ceremonious like tombs.’ The word sit is quite relevant while the nerves are further likened to people after a funeral seated in a parlor. She further changes the image a little bit by including ‘like tombs.’ The nerves are likened to two distinct things though every comparison adds to the same impact. People wearing black clothes in a room after a funeral can be tombs. Tombs, in this case, is a perfect symbol for someone who has just encountered immense pain. By all means, tombs by some degree refer to deadness (stillness) and of formality (ceremony).

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