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Analysis and comments on Wild Nights -- Wild Nights! by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 13 of 123, added on January 4th, 2007 at 4:19 PM.

In this poem I think Emily Dickinson speaks fairly clearly what she is
talking about, especially when you read a selection from what Colonel
Higginson wrote to his co-editor in 1891, when an edition of Emily
Dickinson's poems was being prepared. He wrote:

One poem only I dread a little to print--that wonderful 'Wild
Nights,'--lest the malignant read into it more than that virgin recluse
ever dreamed of putting there.

The poem was not omitted, but it does show the narrow-mindedness involving
sexuality at this time period, for even then one-night stands were common
as they are today. Whether she participated in these activities, or ever
had sex in her life, will of course always remain unknown, but this is my
insight on the poem:

When she speaks of "Were I with thee" it sounds as though she is
remembering a past time of having sex, or perhaps is just thinking
wishfully of sex. She continues with "Wild nights should be our luxury"
which sounds like maybe the man she is speaking about told her he was too
busy to see her or something...then she says "Futile the winds to a heart
in port" which I believe to mean basically that no one can stop a person or
a "heart" in love...perhaps not even this man's wife? She then says "done
with the compass, done with the chart" which maybe means that she is tired
of rules and guidelines, or perhaps she is tired of how society views
things; after all she did become a recluse, and disagreed greatly with
society, especially along the lines of religion...
Anyway, she continues "rowing in Eden" which perhaps means something about
passing through sin, or passing through knowledge, because as the bible
reads, the Garden of Eden did not stay holy forever, and in fact contained
sin and the knowledge of evil (as well as good, of course, but that is
beside the point) So maybe she is saying how she would be gaining knowledge
or sin. She finishes with "Might I but moor To-night in thee!" which
perhaps she does not mean sexually at all (all you who's minds are deeply
in the gutter! :-D) but perhaps more in a way of staying near him, or
even in his house, or perhaps just feeling safe with him for just one
night, against society...maybe having him be on her side about having sex,
when all of society is against her? Well that's just my interpretation,
anyway...good luck with whatever you're doing! Report, essay, pleasure
reading, etc...

Marissa from United States
Comment 12 of 123, added on January 20th, 2006 at 2:03 AM.

I tried to read the poem as a travel by ship which last as long as life. It
could happen that "Wild nights" of storm came to break up the calm and make
us feel "alive" with their ensemble of storming emotions, but these are
futile to a heart in port who has found his true love and thus sails into
the calm water of the Eden, certain to have a safe place where to moor.

Federico from Italy
Comment 11 of 123, added on January 6th, 2006 at 2:39 PM.

Life becomes so much sweeter for a person who is in love.

Lamar Cole from United States
Comment 10 of 123, added on December 16th, 2005 at 7:00 AM.

Just for a few more reflexions...
Who can really say it is a man she speaks of ? It could be a woman, it
could also be something else. The real subject toward which the poem is
directed never really appear in the text and is ambiguous.

Baptiste from Switzerland
Comment 9 of 123, added on October 26th, 2005 at 10:54 AM.

I find Emily Dickenson's poem "Wild Nights" full of un-experienced passion.
The kind of passion found in the arms of a lover but can not be found in a
one night stand. The moral foundation of ED background would preclude her
from such unacceptable behavior. If she indeed had such a relationship we
would see her express the remorse that would result in lustful passion.
She is truly expressing her desire to be loved and the hope that she may
overcome her fear of people

Ronald
Comment 8 of 123, added on October 20th, 2005 at 8:14 AM.

This is one of the best poems I have ever read. One of her best love
peoms...

Mike from United States
Comment 7 of 123, added on October 6th, 2005 at 8:21 PM.

i am writing an essay bout 500 word on this poem and i need more
illustration on wat it means, i understand bout her motives for wild nights
but the whole sense of the poem is just way to analitical. i need more

Roshi
Comment 6 of 123, added on September 7th, 2005 at 6:26 PM.

I think Joseph is right concerning the promiscuity of Emiliy Dickinson. You
have to remember that she lived in the mid to late 1800's (one night stands
and casual sex weren't as frequent as they are now) and you also have to
consider her personality. She was highly private and she completely devoted
herself to her writings. However, these very characteristcs may be the
reason for writing this secret expression of desire for something she wants
but theoretically can not want. I think this poem could very well be an
expression of a sexually related desire, especially when looking at lines
like "down with the compass, Down with the charts" (which sound more
spontaneous and irrational, the way her wanting to be with a man would have
been viewed by her society) but the line "Might I but moor tonight In thee"
is a reference to being held and embrassed in the arms of a man, a safe
place to rest. I must say that I like this poem because it humanizes Emily
Dickison and it is universal. Some people might find it difficult to relate
to some of the topics her poems deal with (not all but some) but "Wild
Nights" is primal and common to all humans at some point. The poem is an
impassioned expression of longing for adventure, for passion, for
companionship, for escape. It rocks.

Hailey from United States
Comment 5 of 123, added on April 20th, 2005 at 10:39 PM.

I dont know, I think maybe this is about the desire to be with an man. She
uses "were I", "should be" and "luxury" as if this is more of a wishful
state than real life. But it's "futile" and I'm not sure if she's the heart
in port who is done with planning and plotting and she has decided that
he's the one and she's done searching, already in her Eden - him. Or the
man is the heart in port who may be taken or not available?
I think it's rather butch of her to want to moor (anchor herself) in him.

neobuccaneer from United States
Comment 4 of 123, added on April 15th, 2005 at 9:21 AM.

This poem shows a lot of emotions and a lot of passion. It seems as though
she had a few wild nights herself. I don't really understand all of her
poems but the first time i read it, it made a lot of sense to me.

Jeff Garcia from United States

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Information about Wild Nights -- Wild Nights!

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 249. Wild Nights -- Wild Nights!
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 38501 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 18 2011


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