Original poem reprinted online here: "342 It will be Summer -- eventually." by Emily Dickinson
Originally read: April 7, 2013
More information about the Poet: Emily Dickinson
Yes, in Emily Dickinson poems the dashes sort of take over the poem visually, and, since there is a lack of other punctuation in the poem (with the exception of the comma in the first line), there's an assumption that the dashes work as pauses. I'm not too sure though as I keep reading this poem. Maybe the dashes will be a discussion for another day.
But they do create pauses in interesting places though -- the dashes I mean. For example, in the first stanza where the speaker is defining summer by the way people act, first there's the dash between "Ladies" and "with parasols" as thought there's a distinction between both; however, there are "Sauntering Gentlemen" and "with canes", and "little girls" and "with Dolls." These aren't commas, there's the separation between the item and the person.
In stanza 2, the dashes are more at the end of the line, and the further the description goes with the deliberate pauses, the more artificial the poem and the description seem to be. Past me wrote, "People, the ornament of landscapes." And I think I got that thought from this line, "As 'twere ta bright Bouquet --"
In stanza three, past me wrote this, "Ever year the same beat, the same hum, that the bees "do not mind" but have to follow." When I read and look at the third stanza, I'm seeing more of a portrait -- or in modern terms, a televised version of the events of summer, "The Bees -- will not despise the tune -- / Their Forefathers -- have hummed -- " rather than summer itself. And further we go down the artificial, but not metapoetical.
In stanza four, past me focused on the "external change" through the line "Her everlasting fashion" (note: that "everlasting" will foreshadow the divine in the last stanza). However, what comes to mind is "the wild rose" which, by today's standards, is a bit cliche, but in this poem, I feel the wild rose is the depiction of wild rather than the actual. The word might be a turn in the poem as something is about to break free.
"As woman -- do -- their Gown -- / Or Priests -- adjust the Symbols -- / When Sacrament -- is done --" With the last three lines of the poem there's the comparison the to the woman (who come off as artificial to me at the moment) and the priests who "adjust the Symbols." It appears that there's a slight jab at priests reinterpreting and artificially creating symbols through the sacrament. The sentiment is so short in the poem that I'm pretty sure I'm looking at this poem in another direction. However, all the points are there though.