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

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Comment 15 of 332, added on April 12th, 2010 at 11:05 PM.

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Comment 14 of 332, added on July 6th, 2009 at 8:20 PM.

I think it was about having fun perhaps it was about a memory that she
had, a fond memory of a boating trip with her family at a lake in Amherst,
Massachusetts or even on the coast of Massachusetts and maybe she wishes
that she could do that again -- but probably won't get a chance to because
her mom and dad died, so all she has left is that memory -- and maybe she
likes to revisit that memory, that night, in her mind's eye, because she
knows in her heart that she won't get another chance to do so in life.

None of her other poems were sexual, so why would this one be? And if you
think about the era in which she lived, women were not allowed to talk
about sex or express their sexual desires and if she was so terribly shy
around people she knew (friends and family), what makes you think that
she'd be brave enough to write a poem about sex -- knowing that it might
possibly be published? I really truly do not think that this is about sex.
I think that it is just about a happy memory that she had and how she
wishes she could have another boating trip with her family. It's similar to
how we have fun with our family at the beach or have fun at the lake today.
She just wishes that she could have another chance to do that with her
family, but she can't because her mom and dad are dead (for all we know
this poem could've been written just before her dad's death or just after).

Jenny from United States
Comment 13 of 332, 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

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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: 43115 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 18 2011

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