Dickinson is truly a tortured soul, tortured with the sweet relief of death just hanging an inch above her grasp, but no, more agony is given. The experience that
Dickinson is recalling is broken into three parts, the maelstrom, the goblin, and the dungeon. These three terrifying situations clearly describe the tortured mind of a talented poet.
The first line of the poem is, ¨’Twas like a maelstrom, with a notch,¨ since this is given in past tense one must believe that she is talking about an experience, most likely a dream. The poem is not about the dream, it is about the message of the dream. The first setting of the dream takes place in water, in a whirlpool. The whirlpool is one of many representations of death in this poem. Dickinson is caught in a boiling whirlpool of death, sounds intimidating doesn’t it. She is spun round and round being tortured by the burns of boiling water and the thought of a grizzly death, only to move an inch closer every day, then finally when she is brought to the last inch of death, she is swept out of the maelstrom to prolong her suffering. The purest form of torture, the pain of dying but the sweet relief of death taken away. The suffering of Dickinson in the whirlpool makes her lose all sense of what's worth living. The whirlpool may be a metaphor for life. She may believe that we are just circling the drain of death, and our life is too painful to enjoy. Very dark and depressing but thatapostrophes just what most of Dickinson’s poems were about, death. The poem gives an easy hint to Dickinson giving up on life when she says, ¨And you dropt, lost.¨ She lost to the maelstrom and lost her will. Death wouldn’t come so easily though, ¨When something broke- And let you from a Dream-¨
When Dickinson says those last six words, one may believe that she means that the next part felt more real.
¨As if a Goblin with a Gauge- Kept measuring the hours- Untill you felt your
Second- Weight, helpless, in his paws-¨ Again her poem shows its dark and depressing colors. The Goblin most likely represents Satan, and the gauge represents time, or a
clock. The clock is counting the hours of torture being put on Dickinson. The Goblin represents more of a mental torture,i like this idea the maelstrom broke her down into physical despaircomma and the goblin wants to make her insane. ¨And not a Sinewstirred- could help,¨ The Sinew refers to the physical well-being of dickinson. Not a sinew stirred means not only that she was mentally tortured, but also she couldn’t move.
The Devil was holding her tight. Maybe he was choking her. ¨When God- remembered and the Fiend let go, then, Overcome-¨ Saved once again from torture, Dickinson is let from the devilaposs grip on god’s word. When Dickinson says god remembers she may have meant that god remembered the good and holy things she has done and though she deserved a delayed sentence, or the opposite. Maybe God too was in on the torture and didn’t think her suffering was over. This poem may have gotten even darker; the devil is supposed to be evil and cruel but even he was ready to end her suffering once and for all, but god said no. It is still very possible that god was, in fact saving her but the next part of the poem makes one think otherwise.
¨As if your Sentence stood - pronounced - And you were frozen led From…