The wounded deer leaps highest

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tyneoh

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello fellow forum members I would like to ask a question regarding the phrase "The wounded deer leaps highest" from the poem "
A wounded deer leaps highest "
by Emily Dickinson. What is the idea the poet wants to get across with this line? Thanks in advance :)
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I think it means that people who suffer often do remarkable things, Tyneoh.

    Edit: Here is the first stanza of Dickinson's poem "A Wounded Deer Leaps Highest"

    A wounded deer leaps highest,
    I've heard the hunter tell;
    'Tis but the ecstasy of death,
    And then the brake is still.
     
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    tyneoh

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I think it means that people who suffer often do remarkable things, Tyneoh.
    Can I say that people who are fighting for their lives and for something precious that is at stake will do something that exceeds expectations ?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Can I say that people who are fighting for their lives and for something precious that is at stake will do something that exceeds expectations ?
    That sounds good to me. Dickinson's poems are extraordinary things that people can interpret in different ways.
     

    tyneoh

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    That sounds good to me. Poems are remarkable things that people can interpret in different ways.
    Are ambiguities such as these common in the interpretation of poems? How can we determine the main idea the poet is trying to convey without tainting it with our own opinions and views?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Of course. That's part of their beauty, don't you think?

    I don't think Dickinson would have minded that you had a personal interpretation of her poem. It seems unwise to me to worry about "tainting" her work. She is dead and gone, yet her poems live on as long as people like you and me want to read them and think about them.
     
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    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    The last stanza of the poem makes me believe that Dickenson is saying that the wounded deer leeps high so that no one will know it is hurt.

    I would copy and paste the relevant part of the poem, but I'm afraid it might be against forum rules.
    i would post a link to the poem, but I'm afraid that might be against forum rules.
    This forum is strict.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Your idea also sounds good, Sparky.

    For those who care to read the poem, here's a link to "A Wounded Deer Leaps Highest" at The Literature Network.

    As long as people restrict their comments to the meaning of the language in the first line, this thread should remain within the forum's rules.
     
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    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Thanks Owlman.

    The problem is that you can't understand the first line without understanding the whole poem. Isn't the first rule of the forum "give context"? The last stanza says Mirth is mail of anguish, which means that mirth is armor that we wear when we're hurt (anguished), and it goes on to say that we wear this armor so that no one will "see the blood" (see our pain). This is what the poem is about. Therefore, the first line serves as an example of how a wounded deer does the same thing.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You're welcome, Sparky. Ultimately, of course, it's the moderator's call. I agree that context is important, but we also have to focus our replies on a specific language question. Our rules tell us that we may quote a maximum of four lines from any source. When I first saw Tyneoh's thread, I had not yet read the poem. Tyneoh asked about the meaning of the first line. Because I knew that the forum permits four quoted lines, I chose the first stanza, which contains the line in question.

    What we can't do in here is have a lengthy discussion about some piece of literature. Does that make sense? All these threads are connected by their titles to specific words in WR's dictionary. The main purpose for these threads is that of providing context for and discussion about words in the dictionary.
     
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