Dickinson’s poetry has been interpreted a number of different ways. To some she may come across suicidal, to others depressed, or even philosophical to a number of readers. In her poem number 347 her depression and feelings of inadequacy are clear. In this poem Dickinson is a diva and is like any other person, scared of change; feelings that people typically get over quickly. Dickinson is being drama queen by explaining and lingering upon her depression and feelings of inadequacy by comparing herself unreasonably to and transcending the beautiful structures involved with spring through her uses of allusion, symbolism, and personification.
Dickinson shows how she is being a drama queen and unreasonably trying to explain her inadequacy through her allusion to Jesus’ crucifixion when she refers to herself as the “Queen of Calvary” (Line 24). Calvary was the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and is therefore associated with suffering. By alluding to the crucifixion, Dickinson is referring to herself as the queen of suffering. She states, “no blossom stayed away in gentle deference to me” (Line22-23) meaning that she is surprised that someone as despicable and unfavorable as she could experience the season of spring.
Just as no flowers would grow in Calvary, an ugly and treacherous site of executions, she believes that no flowers should grow near a person as inadequate as she is. By comparing herself to the queen of suffering her depression is clear in that she is overplaying her faults by comparing herself to a structure as beautiful as the flowers in spring. Dickinson tries to transcend the suffering of Christ, the ultimate suffering, in order to help chide herself from her own feelings of inadequacy caused by nature.
Dickinson further tries to explain her exaggerated feelings of inadequacy by personifying the grass. She states that the grass must grow quickly so “when ‘twas time to see- He’d be too tall, the tallest one could stretch to look at me” (Lines 13-15). In other words Dickinson hopes that the grass grows so much that it hides her from the rest of the world. The grass is given the human characteristics of height and growth. She gives the grass these qualities in order to make it seem like the grass is guarding her from everything else in the world.
Dickinson feels so inadequate that she must hide behind a sizable wall of grass in order that the rest of the structures associated with spring would not come and see her. She assumes that the bees, flowers and birds are all too beautiful to be associated with her and so she must remain incognito and enshrouded by the grass. Her feelings are unreasonable as the structures that are all associated with spring are some of the most beautiful in nature, therefore her comparisons and attempts to transcend the beauty involved with nature is illogical.
Dickinson tries to transcend and compare herself to the nature around her but it is not a reasonable structure to transcend and so she feels inadequate and decides to remain clandestine behind a wall of grass. Dickinson also uses the symbolism of spring to show her unreasonable feelings of inadequacy by comparing herself to and attempting to transcend it. Spring is typically seen as a time of renewal and renaissance because it is the avenue to summer where nature is full of life and growing after the winter.
Thus spring symbolizes new birth and beauty. Dickinson feels that she cannot face spring because it is too beautiful and fruitful a season for her. Compared to the season of spring and all it entails she feels unattractive and inadequate. She compares herself to arguably one of the most beautiful things in the world, nature in the spring, and therefore of course feels inadequate because of such an unreasonable comparison. It is not possible for a person to transcend such a beautiful structure hence her feeling of worthlessness.
How can a person possibly transcend and compare him or herself to a structure that is the epitome of renewal and beauty in the world of nature? Dickinson is being a drama queen by using the symbol of spring and its rebirth as her means of comparison and transcendental explanation. She says that spring’s beauty “had the power to mangle me” (Line 8). This reaction is evidently her being a prima donna because anything that is involved with the beauty and revitalization that spring symbolizes has the power to “mangle” anyone, of course she feels inadequate.
In conclusion, Dickinson’s feelings of inadequacy are clear and unreasonable in her poem number 347. Dickinson is caught up in the change of seasons that is occurring around her and is scared of this change. She lets this fear dictate her emotions and decides that she is not worthy of the upcoming season. By transcending the structure of spring and all it entails Dickinson is being a drama queen because spring is such an overwhelming structure to attempt to transcend that it is impossible to not feel unappealing and inadequate.