Study Guide

There is no Frigate like a Book Exploration

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Just think: if you've never actually been out of your home country or even your hometown, you've still traveled far and wide – as long as you're a reader. Think of the places you've "seen" and the people you've "met" while reading. From encounters with fauns and talking animals in Narnia to the bullfight arena in Hemingway's Spain, there's no limit to the exciting explorations you can undertake by just cracking open a good book. "There is no Frigate like a Book" reminds us of the sense of unlimited possibility that reading gives us. You may not be physically leaving your cozy armchair when you read, but you're covering miles and miles of new territory in your imagination.

Questions About Exploration

  1. The poem suggests that reading about a place is as good as going there. What do you think about this idea? Do you agree or disagree?
  2. Considering the fact that Emily Dickinson was extremely reclusive and rarely left her home, why do you think reading is given such great importance in this poem?
  3. If you were going to expand upon the idea in this poem of reading as exploration, what are some more points you might make the support this argument? Can you think beyond the poem and come up with some other ways in which reading helps us "explore"?

Chew on This

The speaker values the imagination more than the real world.

The speaker believes that one can travel farther and change more through his or her mind than one can travel through actual transportation.

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