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Dickinson, Emily. "There's a certain Slant of light".

Summary and Analysis

The poem has an atmosphere of "Winter Afternoons" which associate coldness and lack of light. The initial line may suggest not only literary but also figurative light. The speaker seeks comfort, i.e. warmth and light, and this is not to be found in the oppressive "Cathedral Tunes".

Because the speaker continues that "we can find no scar", it may be understood that the religion of the church does not sufficiently guide through the confusions of the time. The fact that "None may teach it" suggests that the desirable way leads towards the individual inward religion. The absolute necessity of faith is sketched in the last image: when "it" departs, it is a proximity to death.


  • Author

    Dickinson, Emily. (1830 - 1886).
  • Full Title

    Untitled, the first line is used for identification.
  • Form


Works Cited

Dickinson, Emily. "There's a certain Slant of light". In: The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym et al. NY: Norton, 1989.


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