Emily Dickinson’s poem “There’s a Certain Slant of Light” describes the effect of light in “winter afternoons” as a subtle, invisible “affliction,” something imperceptible yet real; something not unlike solitude. Franz Kafka states, “Isolation is a way to know ourselves.” Students will examine the truth in that statement. Is isolation self-revelatory, is it like a “death,” or is it both? Students may consider the difference between an “internal difference – Where the Meanings are” and “Heavenly hurt” caused by despair. After a close reading and discussion, students will write poems on their own experiences of isolation.
Level: Secondary English/Language Arts
Subject Area: American Literature/U.S. History
Author: Karina Isley