Study Guide

Apparently with no surprise Speaker

By Emily Dickinson

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The speaker doesn't tell us a lot about herself. She's more fixated on the flower death going on all around her. Well, really she's fixated on the fact that all humans die, and there's nothing we can do about it. (Yay for symbolism.) This tells us that the speaker is either (A) a deep thinker, or (B) a little morbid.

Really, both (A) and (B) are probably true—sometimes deep thoughts and morbidity go hand in hand.

Of course, we have to hand it to the speaker. Even though this poem isn't about the sunniest of subjects, she still manages to keep it light. Okay, maybe light isn't quite the right word, but there is a dark sense of humor under all this. Check out the first three lines:

Apparently with no surprise
To any happy Flower
The Frost beheads it at its play—

Line 1 starts off casual, then we're hit up with the silly image of a happy flower, and then the happy-go-lucky flower suddenly has its head lopped off. Um, harsh? The speaker's sense of humor might not be everybody's cup of tea, but sometimes the only way to deal with all the heavy stuff out there is to laugh.

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