I’m “wife” — I’ve finished that —
That other state —
I’m Czar — I’m “Woman” now —
It’s safer so —
How odd the Girl’s life looks
Behind this soft Eclipse —
I think that Earth feels so
To folks in Heaven — now —
This being comfort — then
That other kind — was pain —
But why compare?
I’m “Wife”! Stop there!
[…] Quote from the source: … […]
i feel that in the beginning of the poem she compares the life of a young girl and then of a women.she says that,she has finished the so called duties of a wife but as a women she feels that she is the emperor now and she feels safer than before.she says that tells about the pain undergone by the young girls and she refers the domestic life as an eclipse.she says the one suffers would feel the pain but who see it from outside think it as comfort. she ends the poem on a sarcastic note that its better not to compare things and she says to stop she being a wife.
Well,for me I PERCEIVE THAT EMILY WANT US TO UNDERSTAND THAT ONCE YOU ENTERED ANOTHER STAGE OF BEING A WOMAN,YOU NEED NOW TO BE MUCH RESPONSIBLE, MUCH SERIOUS AND MUCH STRONGER THAT YOU MUST FORGET THE ATTITUDE OF BEING A GIRL WHOM EVERY WOMAN ALREADY UNDERGONE THIS STAGE…SO STOP TO BE IMMATURE FOR YOU ARE NOW IN A COMPLICATED AND THE HIGHEST STAGE OF BEING A WOMAN!
My feeling is that Emily may be mocking someone who is newly married and perhaps has “sniffed” at Emily, but that in fact, she is deeply jealous and does understand that being married “eclipses” girlhood. She no doubt did long for the state of marriage where she could be the Tzar of her own household and get away from her father.
This poem is about an uneasy-contradictory feeling of a young woman who is turning into a woman, especially a wife that seems “safer and more comfortable”, but stopping her from becoming a full human being with no self empowerment and self identity anymore. That’s why she calls the marriage as an eclipse–though a soft one because of her uneasy (read unsatisfied) but culturally obligated feeling on marriage. Basically, she is not satisfied with the marriage life; and that’s why she keeps comparing (though she says ‘why compare?’) herself from the beginning to the end of the poem.
It’s amazing how this poem can be interpreted so many different ways. All three previous comments are completely different and mine is different still! I believe Dickenson is playing feminist. She is saying it is better to be “Woman” rather than “Wife.” Once you make this realization, you will see things as differently as the dead see life on earth. However, she ends in a cynical tone: With independence comes pain, so it is natural for women to stop at “Wife.”
I studied this poem in class and Emily Dickinson is not finding security with becoming a woman, but insecurities. She does not want to be a wife or a woman and puts these words in quotes because they seem foreign when comapred to herself. This relates to her family life also because her father did not expect a woman to become of anything and Emily rejected her mother’s identity insisting in her poems that she is an orphan upon herself. In this poem she fantasizes that she did enter in some kind of marriage, but she seems to almost be mocking it.
A poem for the ages.. this one! Ms Dickinson is quite straight forward in this poem… as straight forward as she’ll ever be. She speaks of her leaving the status of mistress with her lover. She is no longer a girl as they have consemated the relationship; and this brings a sort of power to her that she expresses by say “I’m Czar — I’m ‘Woman’ now–.” She has left the inexperience and confusion of girls and has move on to the securites and confindence of a woman and a wife.
I think she finds comfort in being in a weaker postion. Or perhaps a womanly position and relinquishing power to a “man”. She speaks of being done being in charge the “I’m Czar”; she is now a “woman” perhaps a female servant/worker like the Earth to heaven. She is pointing out maybe the natural progression of a girl’s life from willfulness to marrage in “the soft eclipse”. Almost like she sees marriage as a shelter from pain.