Study Guide

From Blank to Blank Speaker

By Emily Dickinson

Speaker

Our speaker isn't doing so well. Okay, so that was a serious understatement. Our speaker is about as bad off as it gets. She sounds downright suicidal. (And we're just going with "she" here since there are no clues in the poem about the speaker's gender.) If the speaker emailed this poem to us, we might be forced to have an intervention. Lines like this would worry us:

From Blank to Blank—
 (1)

That's because we'd take them to mean that the speaker felt like everything was meaningless. Hey, but everybody gets a little depressed and feels like that sometimes, don't they? Sure, but then we see lines like this:

To stop—or perish—or advance—

Alike indifferent—


 (4-5)

So, not only does the speaker feel like everything is empty around her, she also doesn't care whether she lives or dies. Wow, we seriously wish we could help this lady out, even though we don't know much about her besides how empty she feels. We guess in some ways that makes the speaker a blank, herself—a blank person, lost in blankness. What the blank is up with that? In the end, all we can say about her is that she's in need of a serious diversion, something to fill up the nothingness that surrounds her.

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