Least Rivers — docile to some sea.
My Caspian — thee.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem Least Rivers — docile to some sea


  1. Steve Mann says:

    Of the 1775 poems by Emily Dickinson in the Thomas H. Johnson edition, #212 is the most “compact”–and Thesus’ comment on the “lunatic, the lover and the poet” from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” avails here–of all her poems: a mere nine words! Yet half the world and a rich and fundamental human experience–being in love–is encompassed here. While fiercely proud and protective of her own hard-won poetic authority during her lifetime (ratified only after her death), Dickinson–woman in a man’s world–manifested a consistent humility; hence, the “least” rivers. But an understood “Even” precedes the “least.” The intensity of her passion–for whom? Amazonian?–was very intense (as her letters and poems from the late 1850’s, early 1860’s evince), and her river spills into the Caspian, no minimal body of water (and a lovely sound to its name.) Don’t let the “docile” fool you; that’s understatement as well. The poem is a tightly concentrated expression of ardent romantic love (which dozens of others of her poems present as well.) The generality of “some” is undermined (if not obliterated) by the arch specificity of “thee.” Wouldn’t you want to be loved like that?

  2. Bob Ewell says:

    wow……if i had know that was a poem i would have done that for english class. Also your poem moved me to a higher state of being i am now enlightend.

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