Free Essay Analyzing "I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed" by Emily Dickinson

Published: 2022-02-21
Free Essay Analyzing "I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed" by Emily Dickinson
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Poem Emily Dickinson
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1482 words
13 min read

Identification of in-depth concerns of an author's piecework enables the reader to effectuate to the theme of literature. Emily Dickinson in creating her works has unique and inherent idiosyncratic genius elements. Dickinson's core belief in the transcendentalism drives her poetry with prominent properties of individual purity, spirituality, independence, and self-reliant. She uses unconventional styles to show how human beings and the entire society with its institutions have corrupted divinity, nature, and individualism (Goodman, 2015). In her poem "I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed", Dickinson brings out the unique elements of transcendentalism in the form, structure, and literary devices employed to the poetry. Therefore, this paper will analyze Emily Dickinson's "I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed" in relation to transcendentalism. The analysis will show the elements used to depict that this romanticism literature contradicts divinity, nature, and personality.

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The characteristics of most of Dickinson's works present her readers with unique properties of eccentric use of structure and forms to arrest the attention of the audience. In the poem "I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed" Dickinson explores the subject of drunkenness as a social vice on transcendentalism to show the contrast in natural habitats the speakers' personality as well as godliness. She tries to show how natural order has been corrupted by many forms of drunkard behavior (Priddy, 2008). Using symbolism and allegory she depicts the metaphoric representation of alcoholism notably throughout the poem. Using concise language selection the poem highlights how many aspects of social life have been corrupted in the change of adopting things that are self-engineered. In her direct and indirect application of transcendental, Dickinson bends the application of literary devices to suit the scenario of her mindset to communicate the corruption of humanity in the natural elements of their existence as well as compromising their faith (Goodman, 2015). Her evocative abilities depict how life has been transformed into alcoholism, disfiguring the natural settings of the social norms with liquor intoxicating the purity of individuals and their faith.

The poem presents a poetic contradiction in the way Dickinson communicates to her readers to show a strong awareness of purity, self-reliance, independence, and spirituality. Using her opening statement of the poem which also presumes the poem-title Dickinson presents a visionary element of natural scenery in the metaphoric illustration of alcoholism. When she opens her work with the phrase "I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed" signifies that she has a sour tang of self-engineered problems. The issues that are of the author's concern are not naturally created but reliant on individualism (Yeasts, 2018). Dickinson twist of narration in the poem explores the exhilaration of the outdoor environment during a summer season. She speaks of the natural view of the beautiful summer getting drunk on an unusual brand of liquor in a tavern - "Inns of Molten Blues. The fineness of the liquor supersedes the finest Rhine wine and her drinking habits exceed the summer drinkers, drinking until seraphs stand in the presence of God (Pollack, 2004).

In the tactful application of transcendentalism Dickinson is able to integrate the three forms of human existence. Using the drinking habit of summer drinkers she is able to show her self-reliance personality and independent because the way the speaker does her things does not emulate any other person with similar behavioral habits. She drinks a liquor more fine than the finest liquor other drinkers know making her unique in her own way. She is independent in her endeavors and does not rely on traditions to conduct her passion in the beautiful summer view (MacNeil, 1986). In exploring the natural property of the transcendent, Dickinson talks about the beauty of the summer weather. She mentions the morning dew and breezes, as well as the hot summer sky to bring out the relaxing mood of the summer weather while making merry in the pub. She also talks of the appealing terrain, bees, and butterflies to show the warmth of the natural cohabitants the drinkers are living (Priddy, 2008). Dickinson shows the divinity element of transcendent when she uses the hyperbole that her drinking was calling the attention of the six-winged angels to stand before God to have a merciful look at her. When making witty incorporation of the three distinct features of life the author through the speaker's perception is able to bring out the poetic contradiction, humor, and application of literary devices to draw the theme of the work.

Dickinson uses symbolism, imagery, metaphor, sarcasm, and irony to show the comparison of drunkenness, personality and divinity to show the experience of a summer day in humorous portray of unruly livelihood. Metaphoric representation of the abstract meanings on the visionary perception of the summer air and dew together with drunkenness enlightens the audience from a different perspective of humanity and social moral decay. The presentation of over-dependence on alcohol shows how individuality has been changed from perfection to immorality. The spirituality of the speaker is questioned when the drinking habit is calling for the attention of the angels to intervene on behalf of the speaker to God. The beauty of the summer day is conducive for the speaker to utilize her time doing other constructive things but she opts to watch the beautiful sceneries from the inn drinking her fine liquor (Yeasts, 2018). In this presentation, Dickinson tries to communicate to her audience on the contradiction of life where people utilize their time differently using their self- reliance as well as independence yet, engaging in things that do not positively contribute to their life.

The symbolism of the 'never brewed liquor' shows that the alcohol the speaker is talking of is imaginary and does not exist. Incidents of the drinking habit show that the speaker has a perennial habit of engaging in this kind of activities making her drink more heavily than the summer drinkers. She is engaging in a behavior that threatens and corrupts her morality and divine spirituality calling for the attention of angels. This use of exaggeration shows that the speaker's life has been exposed to the contradiction of social norms on the natural existence, spirituality as well as individualism. The speaker is independent in mind and action. In her thinking and conduct, she does not rely on the conduct of others who are socially considered to have more exposure in the things she is doing. She is relying on her own conduct to do the things she fills fit for her life making the subject of the poem unique to the topographical representation of her psyche meaning.

Throughout the poem, Dickinson describes the intoxication of the natural form of life to show the strong connection between the personal feeling, spirituality, and nature. She explores the prodigious enthusiasm for nature and divinity by describing how the six-winged angles rush to call for the attention of God due to the intoxication of the speaker's body with liquor. Using humor and hyperboles the author is able to make a contrasting comparison of the intoxication of the society in the spiritual perspective when new immoralities are being introduced in the contemporary world to change the perspective of the natural beauty of the world. The new liquor symbolically represents the dynamic nature of the society and human beings conduct. Their lives are getting intoxicated by certain things they are adopting while making life to look like leisure. They are experimenting new and refined things that were not presents in the orthodox era changing their relationship with God.

In conclusion, the poem "I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed" is one among the many poems of Emily Dickinson that explores transcendentalism by integrating the three elements of life to show the composite of modern society. In her direct and indirect application of transcendental, Dickinson bends the application of literary devices to suit the scenario of her mindset to communicate the corruption of humanity. Using the open statements in the poem Dickinson communicates to her readers in the contradiction way to show a strong awareness of purity, self-reliance, independence, and spirituality. In her, work Dickinson has explored how the use of the metaphor of drunkenness and the summer scenery depicts the leisure of intoxicating life compromising spirituality. Through the unnamed speaker, Dickinson is successful in the integration of the three features of transcendent - self, nature and God to show the corruption of social norms. Through effective analysis of Dickinson's work its important for the audience to understand the hidden meaning in the humor and metaphoric representation of drunkard's life in a pub.


Goodman, Russell B. (2015). Transcendentalism: American Philosophy before Pragmatism, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

MacNeil, Helen. (1986). Emily Dickinson. New York: Pantheon Books.

Pollack, Vivian R. (2004). A Historical Guide to Emily Dickinson. New York: Oxford University Press.

Priddy, Anna. (2008). Bloom's how to write about Emily Dickinson / Anna Priddy; introduction by Harold Bloom. New York: Infobase Publishing.

Yeasts, W.B. (2018). A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson's 'I taste a liquor never brewed' interesting literature. Available on

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