I Gave You Power as My Life had Stood a Loaded Gun: The Complicated Poetic Styles of Emily Dickinson and Nasir Jones
Within the world of poetry, one would have a difficult time identifying two poets who are as complex and contradictory as Emily Dickinson and Nasir “Nas” Jones. Over time, each poet has acquired a cult-like following by producing legendary works that have been analyzed by theorists while at the same token, inspiring future poets. However, individuals within the respective following have been as baffled and alienated as they have been impressed. Each poet comes across as an enigma. In examining Dickinson’s life Richard Sewall reports, “She enjoyed riddles, apparently enjoyed being one” (Sewall 4). Perplexingly, Dickinson was prolific in the creation of her art. Yet, she was selective in regard to publication. Jones is also difficult to pen down. He has crafted inspirational, meaningful works followed by works laced with misogynistic lyrics that embrace capitalism and worldly living. In regard to his poetics, Jones states, “I’m totally contradictory. I was gonna make a song called ‘Mr. Contradiction.’ Cause in essence, It means I’m human” (Rockworth 11). When criticized, Jones makes no apologies when his art is concerned. Despite critical mauling, Emily Dickinson and Nasir Jones are considered two of the greatest poets of their respective time periods. This work compares and contrasts the similarities and differences within their lives while placing an emphasis on the works, “My Life Had Stood a Loaded Gun” and “I Gave You Power”.