Extra Credit Assignment
Emily Dickinson Poem 303, The Soul Selects Her Own Society
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 —
- Write a line-by-line paraphrase of this poem. That means to rewrite this poem in your own words.
- 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?
- 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.