I Felt a Funeral in my Brain

Question: Critically analyze the poem I Felt a Funeral in my Brain


Emily Dickinson wrote “I felt a funeral in my brain”, in her most creative time. The poem uses the characteristic use of Dickinson’s metaphor and an experimental metaphor to explore the issues of madness, despair, and the irrational nature of the universe.

Investigation of cosmic mysteries

Dickinson depicts an ongoing series of events surrounding a “funeral” that unfolds within the speaker. Starting deep in the speaker’s mind, the poem gradually expands into an investigation of cosmic mysteries whose answers come only in the form of silence.

Unbearable pressure

The speaker feels as if a funeral service is going on in his own mind. Funeral attendants seem to be searching the back of the speaker’s head so that what they are running is very unbearable to the speaker because they are very noisy though there is no single word uttered by the funeral attendants. Such an unbearable pressure must be felt by the sinners.

An Inevitable Journey of Life

This poem as whole highlights that life is nothing but an inevitable journey towards death. That is why in “I Felt the Funeral in My Brain”, Dickinson warns the American people that they should not be involved in corruption, illicit love affair, alcohol, and criminal activity because death is inevitable. If they think of death, they can never be involved in such activities.


In fine, we can say as it is inevitable to taste the taste of death for all creatures of this universe, life should be led in a mystic way so that immortality can be achieved.

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
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