I robbed the Woods —
The trusting Woods.
The unsuspecting Trees
Brought out their Burs and mosses
My fantasy to please.
I scanned their trinkets curious — I grasped — I bore away —
What will the solemn Hemlock —
What will the Oak tree say?

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

8 Comments

  1. vrinda says:

    when i read the oem i felt that she is trying to tell me of how guilty she is because she robbed the woods who trusted her.she was curious and this curiosity was caused by her alone to satisfy her fantasies.although she is still not guilty,she wonders what the solemn hemlock or the oak tree who trusted her say.

  2. Jeannine says:

    This poem struck a completely different cord in me than what others portrayed in their comments, and that is why I felt compelled to write this. When I think of robbing the woods I think of how many things that the woods provide that I take with me once I leave them. For instance, acorns, rocks, sticks, leaves, and all of the other little treasures that the woods leave for passer-by’s to take, act as souvenirs. Perhaps Emily Dickinson felt that the trees did not intensionally leave these trinkets for her, and so maybe occasionally she felt greedy or guilty for taking them.

  3. lalalala says:

    i loved this poem due to the comparison done!!!!

  4. acire says:

    I think she meens we destory the woods witch have done nothing to us

  5. Sally Crabb says:

    I wonder if Emily Dickinson was talking about the idea that whatever we touch in life, we change it forever. When she talks about even the moss, I think she means that what we do in life can make the most profound changes, changes that we may not ever envision or realize. Maybe I robbed the Woods because I altered them from what they were or could have been.

  6. jerry garner says:

    CAPS USE DUE TO POOR VISION

    EACH TIME I POST A COMMENT ON A WEB, I LET MY FINGERS
    DO THE THINKING. THE COMMENT APPEARS, STRONGLY INDICATING THAT LITTLE OR NO THOUGHT WAS USED BEFORE
    THE PERSON STARTED WRITING.
    FINALLY, I STOPPED AND THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT I WAS GOING
    TO WRITE, IT IS ABOUT TIME.
    WHEN MISS EMILY BECOMES CONFUSING, CHANGE THE LINE ORDER:

    THE TRUSTING WOODS.
    THE UNSUSPECTING TREES
    MY FANTASY TO PLEASE.
    BROUGHT OUT THEIR BURS AND MOSSES
    I SCANNED THEIR TRINKETS CURIOUS-
    I GRASPED-I BORE AWAY
    I ROBBED THE WOODS-
    WHAT WILL THE SOLEMN HEMLOCK-
    WHAT WILL THE OAK TREE SAY

    MISS EMILY IS INVOLVING THE READER IN HER FANTASY OF OBTAINING POISON FROM THE WOODS.
    SHE REFUSED TO BE SPECIFIC ON WHAT SHE INTENDS TO DO
    WITH THE HEMLOCK, BUT BY IDENTIFYING HERSELF AS A ROBBER, IT SHOULD BE APPARENT THAT THE HEMLOCK WAS NOT TO USED FOR A BEIGN PURPOSE.
    ALTERING THE LINE ORDER SHOULD CLARIFY THAT MISS EMILY’S ASSOCITION WITH NATURE SERVED MANY PURPOSES, SOME LESS THAN LEGAL; HOWEVER, THIS IS ONLY A FANTASY-RIGHT?

    MS. EMILY WAS FULLY AWARE THAT NATURE HAD A CARNIVOROUS ASPECT,AND NATURE, IN HER ERA,WAS ALSO USED AS A PHARMACY. HER BIRD AND BEE POEMS ARE NOT AS
    INNOCENT AS ASSUMED.

    MISS EMILY WILL OBLIQUE YOU WITHOUT A MOMENT’S HESITATION,IT WAS IN HER NATURE.

  7. jerry garner says:

    CAPS USED-POOR VISION

    WHILE I AGREE WITH MOST OF COMMENT # 3, NEVER FORGET
    WHATEVER MISS E. WROTE, DUPLICITY WAS NEVER FAR AWAY. IS E’ ATTEMPTING TO GET YOUR MIND TURNED TO THE DIRECTION OF EVIL INTENT?
    DID SHE COME INTO THE WOODS FOR ENJOYMENT OR TO ROB-WAS SHE SEEKING A ITEM FOR POISONOUS NEEDS? IF SHE OBTAINED SUCH AN ITEM FROM THE TRUSTING WOODS, WHO WOULD EVER KNOW?
    I ROBBED THE WOODS
    THE TRUSTING WOODS
    ………………
    WHAT WILL THE SOLEMN HEMLOCK-
    WHAT WILL THE OAK TREE SAY

    THE HEMLOCK HAS A WILL, A METHOD OF BEHAVIOR, A USE, OF ITS OWN AND CAN FOLLOW ANY DIRECTION, BENIGH OR EVIL?
    MISS E’ IS REMINDING US THAT THE PERSON
    THAT ROBBED THE WOODS, SOUGHT HEMLOCK FOR A SPECIFIC
    PURPOSE. SHE DOES NOT SPECIFY WHAT THAT REASON WAS, ONLY THE OAK TREE WILL HAVE KNOWLEDGE THAT SUCH AN EVENT OCCURRED AND OAK TREES HAVE LITTLE TO SAY.
    MISS E’S OFTEN WROTE WITH MORE THAN ONE GOAL, LEAVING
    ROOM FOR SEVERAL INTERPRETATION. DUPLICITY WAS ONLY
    ONE OF HER TECHNIQUES.
    DID SHE ENTER THE WOODS WITH NEFARIOUS INTENT?
    MISS E’ WANTS THAT IDEA TO BRUSH AGAINST THE READERS MIND, HOW MANY OTHER AVENUES SHE WANTS THE READER TO
    TRAVEL OR OPEN TO DEBATE.

  8. Audren Glass says:

    I think it means the poet enjoys, or enjoyed the beauty of the forest without robbing it of anything. She took away indelible memories of happy times in the woods. What would the solemn Hemlock and the Oak say? They would say “Ah, we are loved, and that without being reduced to something different from what we were originally.”

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