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Emily Dickinson - Like eyes that looked on Wastes

Like eyes that looked on Wastes --
Incredulous of Ought
But Blank -- and steady Wilderness --
Diversified by Night --

Just Infinites of Nought --
As far as it could see --
So looked the face I looked upon --
So looked itself -- on Me --

I offered it no Help --
Because the Cause was Mine --
The Misery a Compact
As hopeless -- as divine --

Neither -- would be absolved --
Neither would be a Queen
Without the Other -- Therefore --
We perish -- tho' We reign --

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Added: Jan 9 2004 | Viewed: 4284 times | Comments and analysis of Like eyes that looked on Wastes by Emily Dickinson Comments (2)

Like eyes that looked on Wastes - Comments and Information

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 458. Like eyes that looked on Wastes
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: Published/Written in 1955

Comment 2 of 2, added on April 15th, 2014 at 10:52 PM.
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Comment 1 of 2, added on March 19th, 2006 at 2:11 PM.

The poem “Like Eyes that Looked on Wastes” is a poem that deals with Emily’s identity problem and is key in understanding Emily’s life as a daughter. She denies reality which only creates more confusion about her identity and she haunts herself about being a poet in a woman’s body. The poem is like she is looking into a mirror in which two separate selves, a poet and a woman, emerge in a face to face encounter. In the second stanza she looks into the mirror and sees a hopeless and endless procession of nothing, which is herself. She then realizes that the self that creates the mask of the daughter is the same self that creates the poetry, not two separate selves.


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