A Route of Evanescence
With a revolving Wheel —
A Resonance of Emerald —
A Rush of Cochineal —
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts its tumbled Head —
The mail from Tunis, probably,
An easy Morning’s Ride —

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem A Route of Evanescence


  1. Hallie says:

    The poem is about a hummingbird! I just studied it in a college class. Line 1: “A route of evanescence”–in a letter to a friend, Dickinson said this was a reference to a humminbird. Line 2: With a revolving wheel: Hello! A revolving wheel is the hummingbird’s wings, which revolve extremely fast! Line 3 &4: “A Resonance of Emerald–A Rush of Cochineal”–green and bright red; the hummingbird’s gorgeous color. Line 5&6: “Every Blossom on the Bush Adjusts its tumbled Head–” Hummingbird is getting nectar and pollinating blossoms. Lines 7 & 8: The mail from Tunis, probably, An easy Morning’s Ride–” A hummingbird travels so fast, going to Africa and back in one morning is nothing for it! Come on, I’m on 16–this poem is not hard to understand!

  2. Gui says:

    It´s the description of a hummingbird flying

  3. Amanda says:

    I don’t think it has anything to do with sex at all…Actually, the first thing that comes to mind, for me, is the advent of the steam-engine powered train. Would have occurred around the right time period–still new enough for someone as secluded as Dickinson to be skeptical. And…it makes perfect sense in that context–The first line refers to the steam itself, the second to the ‘wheels’ of the train and its cars, the colors could be of the train, or some other significance to Dickinson–she did love her color play…

    The speed of the train would blow the flowers, thus giving them need to ‘adjust’ their ‘tumbled heads’…whew. For the last–the skepticism. Tunis was a Mediterranean city–perhaps her playful nature and general sarcasm were at play here–as if there were a train fast enough–or capable of–bringing mail from across the sea.

  4. ghetto fab says:

    its about doin it get it real

  5. Jeff Garcia says:

    I really didn’t know what the poem mean at first, but i think i understand it a little. I think it’s talking about something that is flying, like a bird or somekind of bee.

  6. ChoVanne says:

    I really do not understand Emily’s poem….I cannot understand the basics of this poem… I dont know why though… I always do

  7. rawr says:

    It’s about sex. No really. A rush of “cochineal” – red – signifies blood or passion. The Head of a penis or blossom of a bush. “mail” to “male” – Homonyms.

  8. Monica says:

    I’m coursing Literature I at college and yesterday, I I had to analyse this poem. My reading was that the lyrical I, was describing the appearence of this humming bird -its wings, its color, its sound, by means of an sustained metaphor.Then, regarding the last two lines of the poem, the poet mentions the “mail” which represents the pollen it carries from one far away flower to another.

    What do you think of my analysis???

  9. Kristin Warner says:

    Is it possible that the last two lines simply suggest that because the hummingbird flies so quickly, that a delivery all the way from Northern Africa would only be an easy morning trip? Maybe I am oversimplifying!

  10. jerrygarner says:

    I’ve spent a decade reading Miss Emily, this one I cannot grasp.
    Lines one-through-six are excellent.
    Then she goes totally oblique with the mail from Tunis
    being as easy morning’s ride.
    Miss Emily was not above toying with the reader (remembering, only a handful of people saw
    a few dozen of her poems), if we use her letters
    as indicative of her playfulness, and sometimes intent
    to mislead.
    So, what do the last two lines mean? Was this just
    a day where she tired and threw in the last two lines?
    The quatrain was her form; are we supposed to be looking at two quatrains, there are eight lines, did she just not leave a space between the two quatrains?

    If anyone can define the last two lines of this
    ditty, please…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Emily Dickinson better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.