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After great pain, a formal feeling comes – Summary & Analysis
by Emily Dickinson

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The American poet Emily Dickinson wrote "After great pain, a formal feeling comes" around 1862. Like many of Dickinson’s poems from this period, “After great pain” discusses the experience of emotional suffering—specifically, the numb paralysis that the speaker says follows intense shock or trauma. The poem's form, which is alternately rigid and irregular, reflects both the numbness and anguish of someone in this state.

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