I had been hungry, all the Years —
My Noon had Come — to dine —
I trembling drew the Table near —
And touched the Curious Wine —

‘Twas this on Tables I had seen —
When turning, hungry, Home
I looked in Windows, for the Wealth
I could not hope — for Mine —

I did not know the ample Bread —
‘Twas so unlike the Crumb
The Birds and I, had often shared
In Nature’s — Dining Room —

The Plenty hurt me — ’twas so new —
Myself felt ill — and odd —
As Berry — of a Mountain Bush —
Transplanted — to a Road —

Nor was I hungry — so I found
That Hunger — was a way
Of Persons outside Windows —
The Entering — takes away —

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem I had been hungry, all the Years —


  1. Sara says:

    She’s lonely. She hangs out with birds. When she’s with people she’s so uncomfortable and anxious and wants to be alone again.

  2. Kerry says:

    Please, people. She is talking about spiritual hunger. The ample bread, the curious wine are Christ metaphors. Once she was in the natural world, longing for spiritual fulfillment. When she attains it, everything is different for her, and it is obviously overwhelming. And her perspective changes.

  3. Justine says:

    I think that it isnt so much that she is unsatisfied when she finally gets whatever it is that shes desiring, it think its more that she had too much of it at one time and she couldnt handle it because she wasnt used to it. words like “ample” bread, and “the Plenty hurt me” puts emphasis on the fact that there was too much of it.

  4. Ross says:

    I interpreted this poem metaphorically in a romantic sense. It seems that Dickinson in a way is talking about infatuation. A person may long for another person very much but once that person actually be with the person he or she longs for, the magic disappears. “I did not know the ample Bread – ‘Twas so unlike the Crumb.” The real thing is very different and unexpected. Once obtaining what one wants, the hunger drains away (“the entering takes away). The wanting gives rise to desire but the having does not.

  5. Amy says:

    This poem is most definitely about wanting something more out of life, and when finally recieving it, having not been fulfilled by it but sickened. I believe it goes back to her being secluded from society, she may have tried to be a part of it once and found it was not to her liking.

  6. Gibson says:

    The theme of this poem is obviously the desire of possessing what one can’t have and not truely appreciating something once you have it. This message is esily seen through the use of imagery, symbolism, and situational irony. With these literary devices Dickinson has developed a very meaningful poem.

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