The Lightning playeth — all the while —
But when He singeth — then —
Ourselves are conscious He exist —
And we approach Him — stern —

With Insulators — and a Glove —
Whose short — sepulchral Bass
Alarms us — tho' His Yellow feet
May pass — and counterpass —

Upon the Ropes — above our Head —
Continual — with the News —
Nor We so much as check our speech —
Nor stop to cross Ourselves —

This poem is describing an event I believe. It think maybe Emily is talking about lighting and thunder in this poem that maybe effected her or her town or some aspect of her life. She says in the poem that we don’t pay much attention to it until it singeth(thunder) and we become stern of it again. Then in the second stanza she talks about how much electricity is around us, it hidden in a glove/insulator. It could has the power to kill is with its sepulchral Bass and it may pass or not pass (through something). The third stanza talks about the telephone wires that hang in the air they we walk under everyday and never think (stop to cross ourselves) about the powerful electricity.
- BST BST Feb 26, 2008

I would have agreed with Blake initally, but luckly we went over this in our class. I thought the poem was describing exactly what Blake said, but it is talking about communciating through the means of the telegraph. We know this by this line "The lighting playeth-all the while." Also this line, "Nor We so much as check our speech." The last stanza is very easy to interpet, upon the ropes-above our Head- which means the electricity wires, continual with the News- which is saying they were consistent with spreading news through the telegraph, Nor We so much as check our speech- means exactly what it says, they didn't take the time to check their speech, Nor stop to cross Ourselves, this confused me a little bit, but im pretty sure Dickinson is trying to say that we don't stop to take a look at ourselves and always think first before we speak, that obviously happens because you always see people getting punished in various forms for making rude comments and so on. Overall, this was a very good poem but without the guidance in class (once again) I most likely wouldn't of come to this understanding of it. - jpu jpu Feb 26, 2008

Tough Words
sepulchral-burial or tomb

Thubder and Lighting

i think that dickinson's poem is talking about the power of thunder and lighting.

The Lightning playeth — all the while —
But when He singeth — then —
Ourselves are conscious He exist —
And we approach Him — stern —

This whole stanza tells how the thunder will sound the lighting will strike and people almost kind of cringe. They know thet it is there and approach it stenrly. I think that the sepulchral Bass part means that the sound of the thuder is very deep like a burial. Then it explains that the lighting is almost like rope hanging from the sky above their heads. these poems by dickinson are all pretty cool because they are ordinary things that happen everyday and we take for granite. it almost seems as it dickinson is almost trying to make people understand and apprecite the simple things in life by putting so much complexity to her poems. She puts this complexity to it and you think of the poem eevrytime you hear ofr see lighting and thunder, then you sit back and watch it for a minute because you try to see what she sees. Then you have not taken thunder and lighting for granite anymore. The most simple things in life are the most missed whne gone.

- GKE GKE Feb 26, 2008

I think Dickinson may have been trying to explain the effects of the storm in the poem and she really got in depth about that and what's involved in a storm itself. She seemed to portray Lightning and Thunder (singethe) as such a powerful force, yet she described it in such a beautiful way. I couldn't tell if she was desrcibing this all in a positive sense or a negative one. Storms can be beautiful in terms of how they look. The view is spectacular, and Dickinson might've tried to point that out while writing this. Regardless, a storm and be very dangerous due to the effects it might cuase to a town or person perhaps. This all relates to nature in a way and Dickinson may have tried to write this in a sense that it was a Godly thing (the storm). - aow1 aow1 Feb 27, 2008

I think that this poem by Emily Dickinson is talking about an event that happened. I think that it is an event that could happen any day. Emily Dickinson probably experienced. This poem is talking about a thunderstorm. It talks about the thunder. And it talks about Lightning. These two things are very simple things that always happen in a thunderstorm.
I really liked how Dickinson compared things in this poem. For example lightning to a rope in the sky. Even though this poem is simple I really like it and it has a good meaning to it. I think Dickinson is trying to tell us that these simple everyday things shouldn't be over looked of taken for granted. We should appreciate things more. This lesson is a very good one to know. I think that we often over looks things.
I think Emily Dickinson liked nature. She often writes about it. Like the poem about the snake. I think she appreciates life, and wants us to do the same thing.
- hla hla Feb 27, 2008

With this poem I don't think that she is talking about an experience, nor a personal inner feeling. I think that she simply talking about the facts: that a telegraph has so much power, it has the power to kill. Perhaps a family member was electricuted and then died and thats how she sees that it has the strength to do so much, but in a personal opinion I just think she is covering the truth of the dangers of telgraphs.
Also I think that Emily is talking about how oblivious and/or immune we are to a lot of things in our world. During her time the telegraph was the main means for communication and people soon paid no attention to the buzzing, pulsing, electric wires above their heads. Maybe because it just became a simple part of everyday life to people they began to be not as careful around it and it return were harmed. I think that in some cases that happens today (not with a telegraph lines obviously) where we are just distracted with alot of things and don't pay close enough attention to whats around us.
- emi10 emi10 Feb 28, 2008