Emily Dickinson Paraphrase

Submitted By a1radio50
Words: 596
Pages: 3

Raquel Olmedo
Professor Cook
English 165 NT
18 October 2011
Emily Dickinson Paraphrase/Commentary
“668” By Emily Dickinson
“Nature” is what we see-
The Hill- the Afternoon-
Squirrel-Eclipse- the Bumble bee-
Nay- Nature is Heaven-
Nature is what we hear-
The Bobolink- the Sea-
Thunder- the Cricket-
Nay- Nature is Harmony-
Nature is what we know-
Yet have no art to say-
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.
This so-called “Nature” thing everyone seems to talk about is usually defined by everything we can see. For example, these hills, this afternoon, that squirrel, the eclipses, that Bumble bee; All of this is what we, humans, like to call “Nature”. But I think Nature is more than that. Nature is also what we can hear. Nature can also be Heaven. Nature comes from the sound of bird’s singing, the ocean splashing, thunder striking, and even a cricket chirping, but Nature is more than that. Nature is peace. Nature is what we comprehend, but at the same time have no ability to describe. As humans, we always overthink and complicate things and this is why we will never fully understand the beauty and simplicity of Nature.
After reading the original version by Emily Dickinson, I am convinced that she was a master of brevity. Saying as little as possible, but still holding substantial meaning is an aspect of this poem that I truly loved. I felt that my prose version was the complete opposite of what Emily Dickinson was able to do. The version I wrote was lengthy and involved more articulation, but at the same time I felt it lacked the imagery that Emily Dickinson’s poem had. When I reread the poem, I thought that one of the reasons why the original version seemed more clear even though it said less was because the words she chose were all descriptions. For example, when she describes nature as being something we see, the next two lines are strictly examples of what we see every day that can constitute as nature. After that, she counters her thesis of nature being something we can see by saying that Nature is Heaven. “Heaven” in itself is a powerful word and the fact that she