Study Guide

The Lightning is a yellow Fork Sound Check

By Emily Dickinson

Sound Check

With its whimsical opening image and singsong rhythm, this poem plays out like a kind of twisted nursery rhyme. Reading it aloud you might think of it as a theological ditty for precocious toddlers. OK, we kind of wish we hadn't said that, because now we're imagining a kind of creepy, somber preschool full of serious, pale-faced little kids chanting this poem.

But maybe that image, creepy though it is, isn't wrong at all. You may have noticed that there's something undoubtedly haunting and eerie about this poem, what with the disembodied "inadvertent fingers" and the shady house that's "never quite disclosed/ and never quite concealed." Not to mention the fearsome and mysterious "Apparatus of the Dark" that seems to hover above all of us. So ... creepy philosopher preschool it is, then. We're getting goose bumps.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...