There is No Frigate like a Book

There is No Frigate like a Book

by Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul

Summary of There is no Frigate like a Book

  • Popularity of “There is no Frigate like a Book”: This one of the poems from Emily Dickinson, a great American poet. There is no Frigate like a Book is a narrative poem about love for reading. It was first published in 1886. The poem speaks about the speaker’s love for literature. It also illustrates how books and the writer’s imaginations attract us with valuable knowledge. Its popularity, however, lies in that it deals with the phenomenon of power and enjoyment of reading.
  • “There is no Frigate like a Book” As a Representative of Joy: This poem is about the importance of knowledge. The poem begins when the speaker compares a book to a frigate, a sailing vessel, capable to travel at a high speed. To her, the book is capable of taking us to the lands away from our approach. By comparing pages with courses, she further states that no horses can take you away like a page that fills us with endless joy. Regardless of social status, anyone can enjoy this fruitful travel because the ship is so cheap. Even poor people can try to read books and carry them to the places they can never afford to visit. Books serve as the practical and most economic chariots to carry our souls and minds to distant places without any charge.
  • Major Themes in “There is no Frigate like a Book”: Escape, excitement, and love for reading are the major themes underlined in this poem. Throughout the poem, the speaker tries to demonstrate how reading provides escapes from reality. She has successfully used certain images that make the readers visualize the book as a traveling companion like a frigate. To her, reading is a gift to all as it enhances our imaginations and turns impossible into possible. By comparing the book with a frigate and verses of poetry with courses, she elaborates how readings enthrall readers into unimaginable worlds.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in “There is no Frigate like a Book”

Literary devices are very important elements of any literary text. Their use brings richness to the text and also makes the reader understand the story. Emily Dickinson has also made this poem superb by using figurative language. Here is the analysis of some literary devices used in this poem.

  1. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line such as the sound of /e/ in “And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?” and the sound of /o/ in “Without oppress of Toll.”
  2. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line in quick succession. Each line has used alliteration in this poem, making it unique. For example, the sound of /p/ in “Of prancing Poetry” and the sound of /f/ in “After great pain, a formal feeling comes”.
  3. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line. For example, such as the sound of /r/ in “Nor any Coursers” and the sound of /s/ in “This is the Hour of Lead”.
  4. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; rather, it rolls over to the next line. For example,

“There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry.”

  1. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, “There is no Frigate like a Book”, “This Traverse may the poorest take” and “Nor any Coursers like a Page.”
  2. Metaphor: It is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between the objects that are different in nature. For example, “travelling” is used as an extended metaphor to exhibit the power of words.
  3. Personification: Personification is to give human qualities to inanimate objects. For example,

“How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul.”

  1. Simile: It is a device used to compare something with something else to make the meanings clear to the readers. For example, “There is no Frigate like a Book” and “Nor any Coursers like a Page.”
  2. Symbolism: Symbolism is a use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities, by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal meanings. Here, “book” symbolizes freedom and power.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in “There is no Frigate like a Book”

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

  1. Octave: An octave is an eight-lined stanza first used in the 13th This poem consists of one octave.
  2. Rhyme Scheme: The poem follows the ABCDEFE rhyme scheme.
  3. Stanza: A Stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There is only one stanza in this poem.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below are useful on an occasion of speech when talking about the concept of reading and to encourage children to get into the reading habit.

“There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry.”