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Success Is Counted Sweet Poem and Questions

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Emily Dickinson (183086).  Complete Poems.  1924.


Part One: Life


SUCCESS is counted sweetest

By those who neer succeed.

To comprehend a nectar

Requires sorest need.


Not one of all the purple host 5

Who took the flag to-day

Can tell the definition,

So clear, of victory,


As he, defeated, dying,

On whose forbidden ear 10

The distant strains of triumph

Break, agonized and clear.

Success is counted sweetest


1. What analogy does Dickinson draw in this poem?

            The analogy that Dickinson draws in this poem is that ones who are always successful in life do not appreciate success as much as one whos success is rare.  The analogy is the nector, which refers to the drink of the gods which is an illusion.


2. Is the analogy an effective comparison? why?

            Yes, this is an effective comparison because, it shows the difficulties of success.


3. Purple is a color associated with blood shed in battle (Purple Heart). Purple is also a color associated with royalty or nobility. What is the "purple Host" in line 5?

            The purple host in line five is someone who was noble and courageous; however they did not always see the benefits from their achievements.  The host is purple after battle because they are bloody.  The people who took the flag are the winners.


4. Whose ear is mentioned in line 10? What is the ear forbidden to hear?

            The ear, is the ear of the purple host, or honorable person.  The ear is forbidden to hear because he did not live to see success.


5. Describe the image you see in the last stanza.

            In the last stanza you get the image is that the person who has been striving for success, does not realize once it has been achieved.

Enjambment= when an author purposefully makes you continue to the read at the end of a stanza and forces you to read.


You must loose to better understand victory.  If you dont loose, you dont understand how it really was like to loose. What does it take to win.

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