I Years had been from Home
And now before the Door
I dared not enter, lest a Face
I never saw before

Stare solid into mine
And ask my Business there —
“My Business but a Life I left
Was such remaining there?”

I leaned upon the Awe —
I lingered with Before —
The Second like an Ocean rolled
And broke against my ear —

I laughed a crumbling Laugh
That I could fear a Door
Who Consternation compassed
And never winced before.

I fitted to the Latch
My Hand, with trembling care
Lest back the awful Door should spring
And leave me in the Floor —

Then moved my Fingers off
As cautiously as Glass
And held my ears, and like a Thief
Fled gasping from the House —

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem I Years had been from Home


  1. Jimmy De Los Santos says:

    You can find some parallels in the 15th chapter of the book of Luke in the New Testament. The prodigal son comes home in fear of not recognizing his own father and no longer worthy of being called his son, or daughter. Sad that she fled in the end, I would never turn my daughter away, in fact, I would throw a party, just like the Father of the Prodigal.

  2. Abi says:

    Dear Joshua,
    I read your comment to Emily Dickinson poem, ‘I Years had been from Home’ and I find your analysis brilliant.I have several questions about this poem and I will appreciate if you help me to answer them because it is hard for me to understand this poem.
    1. Who or What is the narrator ?
    2. Why does he/she laugh a wooden laugh?
    3. Why would anyone be fearful of coming home? give reasons for your answer.
    4. Why is the door no ordinary door? What could the door symbolize ?
    March 21st, 2010.
    Thank you so much for your help.

  3. Limmy says:

    What do you think about this poem?

  4. Mary says:

    This poem is for an assignment i’m doing. I’m not sure if what dickinson is trying to say is as simple as backing away from a fear of a past that she has when she visits her home. help would be greatly appreciated!!! THank!

    • what do ya want it to be cuz idrc, as far as ik im anon says:

      😛 still want a reply?

      MAN, it’s weird and yet awesome about how TIMELESS these poems and assignments are. 15 years later! Hope you got a good grade last time 😉

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