Cheap Entertainment: Looking at 'There Is No Frigate Like a Book' by Emily Dickinson

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Submitted by to the category Literature on 09/07/2013 03:02 PM

Angela Knight

Mrs. Meng

English 102-B33

15 June 2013

Cheap Entertainment

The poem “There is no Frigate Like a Book” by Emily Dickinson is a poem that was included in a letter that she had written in 1873. This poem upon first glance looks to be a simple little poem that could have been jotted down quickly in a letter. Because of Dickinson’s other great poems such as “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and “A Bird Came Down the Walk” this small, innocent-looking poem could be brushed over and cast aside for its simplicity. This poem is not what it seems. Dickinson has a message hidden in this little gem of a poem. Through Emily Dickinson’s use of similes and metaphors in the poem “There Is No Frigate Like A Book,” she illustrates how the imagination through books is the best entertainment.

This poem contains two stanzas consisting of four lines per stanza. The leading stanza will be examined first. The first two lines of the first stanza read “There is no Frigate like a Book, To take us Lands away” (Dickinson). In examining these lines Dickinson uses a simile to compare books to a frigate. A frigate was a word used to describe a fast ship, so Dickinson is comparing books to fast ships. She is saying that there are no fast ships out there that can compare to books. She is also saying that both ships and books can take people to other lands but only books use the imagination to do so.

The last two lines in this stanza read “Nor any Coursers like a Page, of prancing Poetry” (Dickinson). These lines show that Dickinson uses a simile to compare a courser to poetry. A courser is a swift horse that was used in wars in the Middle Ages. She likens these swift horses to poetry and describes poetry as prancing. She might have done this to show the similarity since horses prance and some poetry can seem to prance in its metrical foot. The rhythm of this poem, when said aloud, seems to prance off of the tongue. She again uses this simile to say that a page of poetry...

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