Thursday, June 26, 2008


EMILY BRONTE 1818-1848

Emily Bronte was one of the three Bronte sisters who wrote poetry and literature during the Victorian Era. Emily worte under the pen name of ELLIS BELL.

Emily’s wrote in a masculine muse. She wrote in a manner that many male poets wrote during this period of time. The personal tone used by Emily in My Comforter describes the thoughts she has hid or “concealed” in her soul in the 'light that lies hid from men' and its 'gentle ray' cannot be controlled by a male driven system or by a male God.
Emily’s poetry focused on the betrayals of body and mind. Emily sought to find answers to questions that the Victoria Era society did not allow her to ask. Emily’s religious symbolism as well as her spirituality shown a form of an unorthodox atheism, indentifying God as the universe. While Emily still continued to attend a church “whilst sitting as motionless as a statue”, she appeared to be there just to appease her family and the society she lived in.
Emily was many times referred to as the oddest of the Bronte sisters. She appeared to believe that God was just the creator of the universe. This was similar to what we today believe to be associated with Darwinism.
In Emily’s poem, When I Shall Sleep:
So said I, and still say the same;

Still, to my death, will say—

Three gods within this little frame

Are warring night and day:
I believe that she is saying that when the symbol “I” sleeps the same thing that fight when sleep is occurring, the “three Gods” are constantly fighting inside the mind. I believe that Emily is saying that the “three Gods” are the body, mind, and soul. She symbolizes these in may of her other writings she had written.
I also read “A Death-Scene, which was written by Emily. In this poem there is no doubt, at least in my mind, that the poem is about a person named “Edward”. In line 9 Emily writes this when she writes:
Edward, awake, awake--

The golden evening gleams

Warm and bright on Arden's lake--

Arouse thee from thy dreams!

Beside thee, on my knee,

My dearest friend, I prayThat thou, to cross the eternal sea,

Wouldst yet one hour delay
This is definitely about trying to wake Edward from his eternal sleep on Earth so that he can cross the lake. I believe that Emily is referring to a person on their knees trying to preach or pray that Edward will cross “the eternal sea” so that he can introduce himself to God, who is the universe.

1 comment:

Jonathan.Glance said...


I am not sure this poetry by Emily Brontë was part of the assigned reading, but I will accept it. You focus well on particular poems here, and make some good comments on the particular passages you quote.