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I just can't seem to figure this out.

In the poem "On this wondrous sea" by Emily Dickinson, which live indicates that the speaker has encountered challenges in her life?

A. On this wondrous sea
B. Sailing silently
c. Their anchors fast
d. Where the storm is o'er

Maybe its just because I'm looking at the poem and answers too literally, but even when I try to look at it figuratively it doesn't make sense. For me, this is not just about getting the answer. I have never understood this even when teachers tried to explain it. I'm a mathematical type person and need a step by step approach to understand sometimes and haven't received that yet.

Thanks for any help!

  • Literature -

    What does "where the storm is o'er" imply?

    You need to understand the difference between Gestalt thinking (AhHHHa!), and sequential, consequential (therefore) thinking. You are begging for a Gestalt answer that you can analyze in a sequential, consequential mode. It is likely not to happen.

  • Literature -

    Well if I had not read online that Emily Dickinson wrote a lot of poems about death, then I probably wouldn't have a clue to what it implies. However, I'll say it implies that "the storm" or the bad parts of her life is "o'er" or over or finished.

  • Literature -

    Maybe. I see the storms still continuing, and she thinks there is a place where they will be over...Death?

  • Literature -

    The question is asking about problems in her life, so yes 'where the storm is over' could mean where the problems end when she dies, but i could also show that the other answers could say something about challenges in her life.

    "On this wondrous sea" could be the answer because when you are on the sea you bob up and down, which could be the ups and downs or challenges in her life.

    "sailing silently" could mean that she is depressed as she is going through life, which one would conclude she is having challenges in her life. "sailing" as in going through life..."silently" as in depressed, since depressed people are usually quieter then normal.

  • Literature -

    You need to stop taking it apart and consider it as a whole ... and THEN make up your mind.

    Only one of the choices you've been given has even a slightly negative connotation - the one Bobpursley picked up on right away.

    Don't over-think this!

  • Literature -

    Hmm, that's interesting how no teacher of mine ever thought to tell me that.

    So now my problem is how do I consider it as a 'whole'? and should i be looking at the words literally or figuratively?

  • Literature -

    You're still over-thinking it!! Most students do, so don't be upset with yourself.

    In the question, which word tells you to look for an answer with negative connotations? The word "challenges," right? (The code-word in our PC society for "problems.")

    Which is the only one of the four answer choices that has even a slightly negative twist or connotation to it? The one with "storms" in it, right?

    Here is a superb website that'll give you some ideas about reading (and understanding) poetry:

    For your purpose here, all you need is the first section: The large issues

    This webpage will be quite valuable for when you need to analyze and write about poems in the future, but for right now, just bookmark it ... and deal with the large issues!

  • Literature -

    Sorry ... wrong link!

    Use this:

  • Literature -

    Makes so much more sense now! Thank you! I looked up the definition of connotation, even though I thought I knew it, and that made it much easier to understand when I re-read it. You're right, storm is the big "problem" word!

  • Literature -

    You're welcome!


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