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Emily Dickinson’s “We Grow Accustomed to the Dark”

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  • Read Emily Dickinson "We Grow Accustomed to the Dark" below. As you read, see if you can take note of the cumulative impact of the author's word choice (both connotative and denotative) to establish the tone and convey the meaning of the piece.



    Emily Dickinson

    "We Grow Accustomed to the Dark"

    We grow accustomed to the Dark --
    When light is put away --
    As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
    To witness her Goodbye --

    A Moment -- We uncertain step
    For newness of the night --
    Then -- fit our Vision to the Dark --
    And meet the Road -- erect --

    And so of larger -- Darkness --
    Those Evenings of the Brain --
    When not a Moon disclose a sign --
    Or Star -- come out -- within --

    The Bravest -- grope a little --
    And sometimes hit a Tree
    Directly in the Forehead --
    But as they learn to see --

    Either the Darkness alters --
    Or something in the sight
    Adjusts itself to Midnight --
    And Life steps almost straight.

    In the following assignment, you will reread the poem and take annotations on it. You will use your annotations to help decipher the poem.

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    Works Cited:

    Dickinson, Emily. "Emily Dickinson- We Grow Accustomed to the Dark." American Poems. Gunnar Bengtsson, 09 Jan 2004. Web. 9 Feb 2011.