My life closed twice before its close —

My life closed twice before its close —
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me

So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem My life closed twice before its close —


  1. Alyssa Baggett says:

    In “My life closed twice before its close” Emily Dickinson uses her experience in
    grieving and her acceptance of the deaths to go on living. She expressed in lines three,
    four and five, “It yet remains to see/ If Immortality unveil/ A third event to me.” She
    meant that even though the death of the two loved ones occurred, they are still with her
    throughout her life and will lead her to her death. She felt the people she lost will stand
    beside her and lead her in life because they will always be with her. In line seven
    Dickinson stated “Parting is all we know of Heaven.” She described Heaven as a place
    you are sent when your time is up, until the next time comes. In everybody’s life they
    have to experience parting of their loved ones for awhile, and then they meet again when
    the deaths are completed. Parting of all loved ones has to occur and to Heaven it’s all
    they know because parting always occurs. Dickinson uses the words “Hopeless” and
    “Huge” which she described as how she felt when she lost her two people she loved, and
    how it affected her and how big it really was to lose the people.

  2. Bryan Moore says:

    In this poem, “My life colsed twice before it close”, it’s expressing the fact if a great tragedy happens and youre not really expecting it, it will tear you to pieces and make you think your life isn’t worth living because you lost on that you loved so much. Its an emotional battle you face when somebody you love passes away. “So huge so hopeless to conceive,” tells us that things we never imagined are possible and real for us today. She shows that when a second death arrives life shows no meaning or purpose.

  3. christina says:

    My life closed twice before its close

    In this poem, Emily Dickinson expresses about how two people close to her dies and she feels lonely and hopeless. I never had an experience where anybody close to me has died, so I don’t exactly know how it feels to lose somebody very close to you. I imagine it would be very heartbreaking, knowing that the one person you loved has just gone away in a blink of an eye. “So huge, so hopeless to conceive. As these that twice befell”. This line is expressing the death of the two people is a big deal that it is hard to believe that they are gone. “Immortality”, this word is expressing that how she gets to live and the people that died are gone. “Conceive”, this word expresses in the poem how it is hard to believe that someone close just died.

  4. Christina A. says:

    “my life closed twice before its close”Emily Dickinson expresses how she had died inside twice before she has truly made her path to her death. The two deaths may be the memory of when the love of her life and her father died before she did. In these lines,
    “If immortality unveil
    a third event to me…”
    She cites how long death seems away from her. The use of the word immortality highlights how long she thinks death has eluded her. she awaits death for the eternity of the rest of ther lifetime.

  5. Rose says:

    In this poem, Emily Dickinson is showing us that enormous things can change our lives for the worse, which she feels can only be matched in emotional value with our own death. SHe speaks of two events in her life that she views as closings that have changed her life and hurt her immensely. She goes on to wonder if there is another on the way. She refers to these events as “so huge, so hopeless to conceive,” revealing to us that terrible things you’ve never even imagined are possible and inevitable. She tells us “Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell” suggesting that the physical death is the only escape to a heaven from this emotional hell of living.

  6. nicole says:

    In this poem Dickinson describes the emotional battle you face when a loved one passes away. She describes the losses as suck an impact that its almost pointless for her to continue life. Dickinson tone in the poem makes the reader feel remorse and upset for her. Describing her fellings when she states, “So huge. so hopeless to conceive as these that twice befell.” Using the word “hopeless” and “parting” describes to the reader just how immense a loss this was for Dickinson. “My life closed twice before its close–” seems like Emily Dickinson venting her feelings of lossing a major part of her life.

  7. Mark Kimata says:

    With the death of a loved one, life faces despair for Emily Dickinson. Once a second death arrives, life shows no true meaning or purpose. Left with nothing to live for, she just awaits her prominent death. Although ironically she views it as if she could reach immortality because she is the only one left.

  8. Michael P. says:

    Yet another one of Dickinson’s poems of depression, this poem portrays the expression of having two major losses in her life and waiting to see if her own death could be her third major loss. At first, I actually didn’t understand what Dickinson tried to explain. Until I read other people’s interpretation, I understood the theme and significance of the poem. I actually felt really sorry for her because she lost two loved ones. Dickinson classifies the losses as the Three Events. The first and second events refer back to the deaths of her loved ones. The third event, as Dickinson describes as “it yet remains to see”, the possible death of herself. She explains that “immortality” is less likely to happen. She refers herself as being “hopeless”. The message that Dickinson tries to portray is that we all will have our “life closed twice” somewhere in our lives. In other words, we will have two major events that will change us big time. She also tells us that our third event will remain yet to be seen.

  9. RoRo G says:

    Emily Dickinson is writing about how she has experienced two instances where she has lost a loved one. This is said as “my life closed twice before its close” –the title itself. When she says, “It yet remains to see ,If Immortality unviel, A third event to me”, it seems as though she is awaiting another loss, either her own, or another loved one. At first I wasn’t exactly sure of what dickinson meant, but after reading others’ responses, it was more clear that the two events were in fact, the losing of a loved one. It is like she has died, though only emotionally.I have lost a loved one, and I can understand how Emily may have felt, like her life did emotionally end because of the pain and sorrow that is brought upon her from this great loss. Then the third event, was her actual death, physically. This poem is pretty straight-forward. I really believe that Dickinson has a talent for poetry.

  10. Joye B. says:

    Emily Dickinson possesses both fascination and devastion in relation to death. Dickinson expresses that the human soul inevitably experiences three deaths. Specifically, she states, “It yet remains to see/If Immortality unveil/A third”. She foresees her impending death as her final closure, but remains in the dark about the circumstances of fate. She expounds that “Parting is we know of heaven/and all we need of hell”. In essence, only in death can a person discover the true meaning of peace or truly know grief.

  11. Simone says:

    In this poem I believe Dickinson is expressing her acceptance of death. She has experienced two invents of near death, or deaths close to her. When she says “Parting is all we know of heaven. And all we need of hell.” She is expressing what she knows about death, as well as what she does not. Her view on death was altered by her first two experiences involving death. Her new view is what inspired her to write this poem as she became okay with death and accepts it.

  12. michaela says:

    The main idea throughout this poem is misery and loss. In the line “parting is all we know of heaven. And all we need of hell,” suggests we only know living without joy and being in misery. She has not yet died, but part of her did in these two events. She waits to see if she will feel this pain for a third time. Anyone who has ever lost someone close can relate to this poem. Dickinson evokes sorrow as she describes how her life closed twice.

  13. Amanda says:

    This poem is about her great sense of loss of two people really close to her. Her line ” my life closed twice before its close” is her way of saying that she felt like she died too when they died. While reading this, i didnt really have a big emotional connection to it because I have never had someone really close die before. Death is a huge event and a very emotional one; I cant imagine how she felt. This poem explains alot though of what she felt and the pain she was going through.

  14. Tahira W. says:

    Dickinson’s portrayal of her life in the poem created a gloomy feeling in me for her. As she flashed back on the two events in her life, a sense of sadness produced. Her “life closed twice before its close” because of two “events” in her life that gave her great pain; this pain was so immense that she felt as if she was no longer living. Her life “remains to see” because she never actually “parted to heaven” yet. After reading this, I looked back on my life to recall events where I felt “closed” before my time. She also brings to mind that when people die, they know it’s all they need to experience heaven but also to attend hell.

  15. Colin Butler says:

    This poem is expressing the loss of something special to the writer before her life ended and how it affected her mind. In this poem, Dickinson speaks about how she experienced two deaths before her life ended. As I read this poem, I felt great sorrow for the writer as she has had two traumatic deaths in her life. When Dickinson writes, “If Immortality unveil, a third event to me”, she is speaking about her death and how she waits for it to arrive. The word “hopeless” in the second stanza refers to how Dickinson feels as she waits for death to greet her.

  16. alexandra and elexis says:

    The poem expresses the hardships of death
    in one’s life and how it effects your mental state. Dickinson experienced two deaths in her own life as well as internally. She shows all of that
    emotion in this poem.

    The poem’s message is pain caused by deaths and experiences Dickinson has had. They have made her feel like she’s lost a piece of herself, referring to the title, “My life closed twice before its close.” Most people can relate to her pain having lost a family member or experienced a traumatizing experience. She describes the pain as, “hopeless to conceive.” Her pain is so unbearable she can’t even wrap her mind around it.

  17. Briana Brunson says:

    This poem is written by a true poet. Emily shares her heartache with all her reader in this poem. It took me a while to really grasp the concept of this poem and I had to look at the commebnts that people had posted to really get a good feel for the tone and meaning of this piece of literature from other points of views. She lost so many relatives and friends in her lifetime that those experiences really uprooted the sadness and darkness that is portrayed in some of her poems. I totally understand her. The first line that says “My life closed twice” immediately lets me know that there were two experiences in her life that put her in a deep depression, and that it was as if her life was over, that it closed. The only thing that can totally close the chapters in her life would be her own death, as she says “before it’s closed”.She says she feels “hopeless”. There is nothing she can do about the fact that her mother, father, nephew, her lover and her friend deaths. It’s uncontolable.

  18. Eric Monroe says:

    Emily Dickinson is truly a master of words. She chooses the perfect phrasing for everything and does not make a poem that goes on forever. The message of this poem is that losing a loved one can be equated to the death of one’s soul. As she describes the deaths spiritual and physical deaths in lines 6-8, she says that while physical death is the only way to get to heaven, the death of the soul is like “hell.”

  19. Hai says:

    Dickinson tries to tell us that she has had 2 death experiences in her life and the third death experience will be her own because she said that ” my life closed twice before its close–” and that connected to her biography where she had experienced her father and her lover died.Also she believe that her death is unavoidable. that why she said “so huge, so hopeless to conceive and she also mention that if “immortality unveil A third event to me” show that the third event will be her death.

  20. Megan OC says:

    Personally, I feel that Dickinson is trying to express her opinion of death. The title, “My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close,” refers to two life-altering experiences that take a toll on her outlook of things forever. These types of situations help one to see the light when almost in complete darkness.
    “So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
    As these that twice befell.”
    The above excerpt states that Dickinson found it hopeless to believe that she neared death twice. I feel that she felt guilty of coming so close to death as well as ashamed. However, in a sense, she might have seen loved ones die before her sorrowful eyes too. Either way, two powerful experiences confined her life forever.

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