Extra Credit Assignment

Extra Credit Assignment

Emily Dickinson Poem 303, The Soul Selects Her Own Society

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Extra Credit Assignment
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The Soul selects her own Society —

Then — shuts the Door —

To her divine Majority —

Present no more —


Unmoved — she notes the Chariots — pausing —

At her low Gate —

Unmoved — an Emperor be kneeling

Upon her Mat —


I’ve known her — from an ample nation —

Choose One —

Then — close the Valves of her attention —

Like Stone —


  1. 1862


  1. Write a line-by-line paraphrase of this poem.  That means to rewrite this poem in your own words.


  1. Write an analysis of the meaning of the poem.  Primarily consider her choices – both of words and of scenarios in the poem.  Consider her use of Soul– with a capital s.  What does that represent?  Why Soul?  What is the significance of the phrase “divine Majority”?  Can you see a similarity here to “Much Madness Is Divinest Sense”?  What does the presence of chariots and an emperor mean to the poem?  What about her use of valves and stone?


  1. Write a few sentences that relate this poem to what you know about Emily Dickinson and her life.  Can this poem be seen as a sort of explanation for the type of person she was?


Please, please heed my warning about going to the Internet for help.  Ask ME if you have any questions.  I truly am interested in seeing how you can do with this poem, and I will only give credit to those who do their own work.  Your analysis does not have to be perfect; it simply has to be your own.  And . . . . . Turnitin will catch any plagiarism.