The Soul Has Bandaged Moments

The Soul Has Bandaged Moments

By Emily Dickinson

The Soul has Bandaged moments –
When too appalled to stir –
She feels some ghastly Fright come up
And stop to look at her –

Salute her, with long fingers –
Caress her freezing hair –
Sip, Goblin, from the very lips
The Lover – hovered – o’er –
Unworthy, that a thought so mean
Accost a Theme – so – fair –

The soul has moments of escape –
When bursting all the doors –
She dances like a Bomb, abroad,
And swings opon the Hours,

As do the Bee – delirious borne –
Long Dungeoned from his Rose –
Touch Liberty – then know no more –
But Noon, and Paradise

The Soul’s retaken moments –
When, Felon led along,
With shackles on the plumed feet,
And staples, in the song,

The Horror welcomes her, again,
These, are not brayed of Tongue –

Summary of The Soul Has Bandaged Moments

  • Popularity of “The Soul Has Bandaged Moments”: Written by Emily Dickinson, a great American mystic poet, “The Soul Has Bandaged Moments” captures the essence of human experience and the emotional struggles they encounter. While Dickinson’s works were relatively unknown during her lifetime, this specific poem won recognition after it appeared in her collection, published posthumously in 1890. The poem has beautifully struck chords with students and common readers alike on account of its themes as well as the use of literary devices.
  • “The Soul Has Bandaged Moments” As a Representative of Reality: “The Soul Has Bandaged Moments” is a representative of Dickinson’s unique poetic attempt at going deeper into human emotions and unearthing existential dilemmas. Using concise yet powerful language, Dickinson captures the universal experience of emotional turmoil and the transient nature of life. That is why the poem seems a poignant reflection on the moments when the soul feels wounded. It also highlights the vulnerability and fragility of the human spirit. Dickinson’s exploration of these bandaged moments, where one’s inner self requires healing and restoration, resonates with readers as it shows the profound complexity of human emotions.
  • Major Themes in “The Soul Has Bandaged Moments”: “The Soul Has Bandaged Moments” presents several major thematic strands, such as the transient nature of human emotions, the paradox of vulnerability and resilience, and the quest for inner healing. Dickinson portrays the short span of emotions by stating that the soul always longs for escapism. “When bursting all the doors—” (line 12) is suggestive of the negative as well as positive emotions, which are short and momentary. It also shows the paradoxical relationship between vulnerability and resilience, asserting that the soul takes back moments that leave us. She seems to acknowledge that even in the face of emotional wounds, the soul possesses the strength to reclaim moments of resilience. The quest for inner healing is depicted through the line “A timid fellow, there!” which suggests the soul’s hesitance in seeking healing. Showing these thematic strands, the poem offers its readers profound insights into the human condition.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in The Soul Has Bandaged Moments

Emily Dickinson’s use of unusual literary devices demonstrates her profound poetic skill. They aim to enhance the intended impact of her poem. Some of the major literary devices are as follows.

  1. Assonance: It is the repetition of vowel sounds within words. For example, “The Soul has Bandaged moments (line 1) shows the repetition of the long /a/ sound.
  2. Consonance: It is the repetition of consonant sounds in verse. For example, “The Lover – hovered – o’er” shows the repetition of /v/ sound, creating a sense of musicality.
  3. Enjambment: It is the continuation of a sentence or thought without a pause beyond the end of a line or stanza. For example, lines 3 and 4 create an enjambment, carrying the thought from one line to the next.
  4. Hyperbole: It means exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. For example, “She dances like a Bomb, abroad” (line 13) shows the comparison, exaggerating the soul’s intense and explosive moments of escape.
  5. Metaphor: It is a figure of speech that draws a comparison between two unrelated things. For example, “Touch Liberty – then know no more -” (line 17) shows that liberty is used as a metaphor for freedom and liberation.
  6. Onomatopoeia: This is the use of words that imitate or suggest the sound they describe. For example, “brayed of Tongue” (line 24) shows the phrase using onomatopoeia to create a sound effect that emphasizes the absence of spoken expression.
  7. Personification: It means assigning human qualities or attributes to non-human entities. For example, “The Horror welcomes her, again” (line 23) shows that the Horror is being treated as if it can welcome the soul.
  8. Simile: It is a comparison using “like” or “as” to highlight similarities. For example, “As do the Bee – delirious borne” (line 15) shows the simile, comparing the soul’s moments of escape to a bee’s ecstatic flight.
  9. Symbolism: It is the use of objects, characters, or elements to represent abstract ideas or concepts. For example, “shackles on the plumed feet” (line 21) shows the shackles, symbolizing confinement and restriction.
  10. Synecdoche: It is a figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole. For example, “staples, in the song” (line 22) shows “Staples” being used as a synecdoche, representing the entire experience or condition described in the poem.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in The Soul Has Bandaged Moments

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is an analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Diction: It is the choice and use of words and phrases in a poem. The diction in this poem conveys a sense of reverence or acknowledgment, emphasizing the solemnity of the moment.
  2. End Rhyme: It is the repetition of the same sounds at the end of lines, such as “stir” (line 2) and “her” (line 4) shows these words rhyming with each other.
  3. Meter: This is the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry. The poem follows a predominantly iambic meter, with alternating stressed and unstressed syllables in each line.
  4. Rhyme Scheme: It is the pattern of rhyming words in a poem. The poem does not have a consistent rhyme scheme. However, there are instances of internal rhyme.
  5. Poem: “The Soul Has Bandaged Moments” is a lyric poem expressing the speaker’s emotions and inner thoughts.
  6. Stanza: The poem consists of six quatrains, stanzas with four lines each.
  7. Tone: This is the attitude or mood conveyed by the author. The tone of the poem is introspective, melancholic, and contemplative.

Quotes to be Used

This quote is appropriate when describing or discussing moments of emotional or psychological vulnerability when a person feels wounded or overwhelmed and seeks to protect themselves.

The Soul has Bandaged moments.

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