Sickness Poems - Page 2

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  1. 21. After Great Pain, A Formal Feeling Comes

    A poem about emotional pain and grief, the body and minds reactions to terrible news. "After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes" is a poem by Emily Dickinson about coping with intense emotional pain. The poet describes their numbed emotional state following a traumatic event. Dickinson uses metaphors and imagery to paint a vivid picture of the speaker's emotional detachment. The use of rhyme and a tight meter gives the poem a musical quality, emphasizing the speaker's numbness. It can be interpreted as Dickinson's own coping mechanism after experiencing a loss, but also applies to the reader's personal experiences and emotional numbness.

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    After great pain a formal feeling comes--
    The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;
    The stiff Heart questions--was it He that bore?
    And yesterday--or centuries before?


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