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Emily Dickinson - Who is the East?

Who is the East?
The Yellow Man
Who may be Purple if He can
That carries in the Sun.

Who is the West?
The Purple Man
Who may be Yellow if He can
That lets Him out again.

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Added: Jan 9 2004 | Viewed: 5854 times | Comments and analysis of Who is the East? by Emily Dickinson Comments (1)

Who is the East? - Comments and Information

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 1032. Who is the East?
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: Published/Written in 1955
Poem of the Day: May 27 2010

Comment 1 of 1, added on December 26th, 2010 at 1:35 PM.
Who is the East?

This poem will seem incomprehensible until one realizes that "Purple" refers to a sunset. "The Yellow Man" is not an Asian, but rather the sun between its rising and its setting. It stands for the "East" because that is where it rises. If the yellow man arrives at the western horizon, the sunset will allow the purple man to show himself if "He" carries him to the west. Who is "He"? Either God or the sun itself (who transports both the yellow and the purple men inside itself). The second quatrain should present no problem once the first is understood. The purple man will give way to the yellow man as the course of nature performs its circular journey.

Thomas Hanson from United States

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