Nobody knows this little Rose —
It might a pilgrim be
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.
Only a Bee will miss it —
Only a Butterfly,
Hastening from far journey —
On its breast to lie —
Only a Bird will wonder —
Only a Breeze will sigh —
Ah Little Rose — how easy
For such as thee to die!

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

71 Comments

  1. flakita says:

    this poem is amazing && if your going to critisize and talk s*** then dont post nothing b/c nobody wants to read your dumb s*** you have to say so waste your time posting up negative thoughts because NO ONE GIVE A F***.
    – THANKS.

  2. shams says:

    This poem has many meanings. Literally, it means that if you take a rose away from its home, it will not be missed by anyone but a butterfly or bee. The implicit meaning, however, is more complicated. The rose symbolizes a perfect human being- everyone adores it’s beauty. When its gone, though, nobody misses it. The poet uses alliteration to help the poem flow. For example- “only a bee… only a butterfly… only a bird… only a breeze.” She also uses the half rhyme (or slant rhyme) sequence (be rhymes with thee, butterfly rhymes with lie, and sigh rhymes with die). The poet also capitalizes important words and uses personification (“Bird will wonder”, “breeze will sigh”, etc)

  3. Donna says:

    Emily Dickinson routinely used “pilgrim” and “pilgrimage” type terms, not in the vernacular (slang) we are used to today, but if you read it as she wrote it, a pilgrim is traditionally one who embarks on a religious journey, which makes the remainder of that phrase make sense: “it might a PILGRIM be…did I not take it from the ways…AND HOLD IT UP TO THEE…” She was symbolically representing that by bringing the rose from its place up to “thee” (whoever she meant then, or perhaps God, it isn’t clear, but she did have a difficult and impossible to make reality situation with a man due to circumstance) as its journey from the earth to the nose of “thee” (again being whomever she chose to leave out of the poem save that phrase, which also leaves open interpretation as to who “thee” was, but the prior comment, with all due respect, does not fit in with the remainder of that poem, although it shows how our use of language is much different now than in the past, and also is a wonderful sign that she is still making us think after all this time. I hope someone replies with thoughts – she’s my favorite poet in her use of imagery and care with brevity of words to explain infinite concepts with infinite meanings that are still relevant to us today.

  4. Roxy says:

    She says “it might a pilgrim be” meaning its a foreigner or someone who is different from the others around it. And the Bee,Butterfly,Breeze and Bird are capatilized to represent people in her life. the Rose representing her.

  5. ace says:

    the poem want us to enjoy every moment of our life and we should live it to the fullest,we may encounter many obstacles down the road,but for me thats what spice up our life

  6. Hans says:

    I believe it is not about yourself our anyone else.

    My opinion is that it is about the death of loved ones… Dying of humans, friends, gives sadness and makes us mourn. For such a thing as a rose it is easy to die, as nobody will miss it. The problem is not in the dying of a friend but in the absence it creates.

  7. Jacob P. says:

    Though not my most favorite of Dickinson’s poems, it has quite an impactful thought so many of us are concerned with. She eloquently places the thought of being nothing on one of Western Society’s biggest emblem of importance.

    Also, Karl from Azerbaijan, you missed the meaning entirely. This poem is about how important everyone thinks they are, but the truth is virtually no one will notice you are gone. Sure some family members will mourn you, but you, like countless others, will end up as just another tombstone no one comes to visit, slowly wearing out your name until it is entirely illegible.

  8. jennifer says:

    this poem really speaks out to a lot of people. its so amazing how so many people can relate to it. if you dont like this poem then dont type a comment criticism b/c no one f****** cares!

  9. Danielle says:

    This is sooo deeep. And sooo good. I Love it sooo mcuh. Love you to. Good poem

  10. halli says:

    I thought this poem was very deep. It shows how little we as individuals are noticed, though, to a very few, we are the whole world. It shows how we are all forgotten at some point, and we have to hold on to what we have. I enjoyed it very much, and I think it was one of her best poems.

  11. Inga says:

    Having busy lives we do not notice that we are individuals, that we are unique… Sometimes life scene makes us actors and allows us to forget ourselves… We all are piligrims in one way or another, piligrims who sometimes have to stand alone in the way of life, who sometimes need to grow sharp prickles, and not be remembered. Uniqueness of the person is not always noticed and valued: others, like the butterfly and the bee, would use him or her, while others, as free as the piligrim ( the wind and the bird)would love “the rose” and miss it pushing up the daisies… Only a free soul can understand another free soul…
    Here I see a simile: a person is as beautiful as a rose, as strong as rose`s prickles, as lonely as a piligrim and as free as a wind or a bird; therefore she/he is unique.

  12. karl says:

    This is probably the worst poem ever. It was so boring. I really dont know what you people were thinking when you read this. Like one person said “most people notice you when your dead” okay…. make something great in your life and people will notice you. When you die your remembered. duh.

  13. Sonia says:

    This poem is my favorite ever. I just read it, and it’s awesome!

  14. Ashley Barber says:

    This poem was great it really touched me on a personal level it’s wonderful she really it’s true to her discriptions maybe someday I will be as famous with my poetry as she was………

  15. richel says:

    this is a verry nice one!!! i like it a lot because it is full of meaning, it is very deep!

  16. Darren says:

    The poem shoes thta a person has sooo many talents and is able to acheive the impossible, but no body knows it yet… I really like it!!!!!

  17. Ankit Grover says:

    i like this poem

  18. Some Dude says:

    through its use of words, images, and sound poetry can provide us with new ways of thinking about ordinary events, feelings, and momentous occasions. In short, poetry helps us to understand about life. Emily Dickinson polished her use of words and phrases over many years and will be renowned for it until our society loses all interest in the written word.
    P.S.(Australia=lame)

  19. angela says:

    this speaks to me !! i love it i realy think this one is the best !!!out of all her poems 🙂

  20. Suada Numanovich says:

    Most people only get noticed after death !
    So, we take a lessons from this poem.
    Thanks to you Emily Dickinson…..

  21. stacy says:

    I am not a big fan of poetry, but when I came across this poem and really thought about it, I actually understood it. It is one of the shortest yet deepest things I have ever read. It made me realize that things or people can go through life without being noticed and it is very sad.

  22. Phyliss says:

    The poem has the Little Rose as its protagonist. It’s beautiful, sensual and sad.

  23. Lacy says:

    I think Emily was trying to convince herself that she didn’t need people. (Make sure you read her poem about being a nobody.) The rose represents herself. She wrote such beautiful poetry, without ever seeing it really reach the public. She was probably secluding herself in the same way people like me feel guilty about shopping at Walmart. She didn’t want to contribute to the shallow masses. She lived on principle, perhaps thinking it wasn’t really making much of a difference. But Emily’s roselike poetry did eventually matter.
    Can you tell I’m going through essay writing withdrawl?

  24. Courtney says:

    This poem is one of my favorites. A couple years ago I had a friend who sang this poem as a song for a compitetion and it went great!

  25. Donielle says:

    This poem is beautiful, and the critics don’t need to comment on it. If you critisize this poem, then you don’t understand the beauty of it, and then you mightbe in the position of the rose!!! Except life, even though sometimes you feel like you are the only one in it and no one else cares. (No one cares if you are stupid enough to critisize this beautiful poem, you are the rose!, except there aren’t any bees or butterflies!)

  26. Andrey says:

    This poem is awesome, i read most of these comments, well yes i was bored and have to do it for my hmwk, but still. Some say that how it says that its easy for a person to die, or that when people die someone for sure will miss them like their family. Or that the person isnt know for its beauty until u show ppl him… but this is my idea of it: Think about artists, and poets, what happens to them during their life. They paint, and create poems. Sometimes they get noticed, but mostly dont. Most of the famous artist and poets are noticed after their death. She is saying when the rose is picked, it dies right away, but then people notice it. So basicaly my idea is that she was talking about her life, how she wont be known until after death, when someone picks her up and displays her. Well this could help some ppl do research so u r welcome

  27. Christina says:

    This poem is so deep! I thinl that she is a wounderful writer and he poems are so analogus!!!

  28. Emily says:

    i love this poem its always been my favorite!!!

  29. Loretta says:

    My son, who ALWAYS picks flowers for me shocked me when *I* picked HIM the last flower of the season from our garden. I thought it was great to give him the last flower, but as I handed it to him, his eyes turned down in sadness, and in his sweet little four year old voice he said, “Oh How SAD! Now the flower will die!”
    I almost cried.
    I think what Emily did was pick a flower and then she immediatly feel like my little Johnny did. She did the only thing she could to honor that beautiful rose, write this poem. I bet she never picked another flower again. I never will.

  30. YEPWI DANIEL says:

    wow!i think the poem is so deep,so much crammed in one thought.if the birds,breeze,bees and buterfly were unhappy,who then would be?

  31. Moby says:

    I like this poem alot it shows that alot of things go unoticed. The simple beauty of the rose was lost when it died. No one noticed it before it died and thats just sad.

  32. Tiffany says:

    I love this poem it shows feelings and sadness into the person who is reading it……………..

    Tiffany

  33. Jared says:

    Emily is one the greatest contributers to the american life. all her poems are strong and valuable to us. They all include depression and saddness and that lets us see what everything is all about.

  34. kapri says:

    i loved this poem. i really felt it while i was reading it. i think other people did too.Emily is talking about how easly people can be forgotten. no one wants to be forgotten when they are gone.

  35. Dunia says:

    i love this poem…. this poem is the best poems.

  36. Olive says:

    I think Emily Dickinson realized the fact that none of us is any more important/insignificant than the other because every one is the same. From the line “How easy for such as thee to die”, we can tell she is trying to point out and emphasis the insignificance of human life. People often say that her poems are depressing. However, to me, they are all great philosophy lessons.

  37. emily says:

    This poem was one of the best poems i have heard from Emily Dickinson!! It shows a lot of emotion!! It shows feelings!

  38. amanda says:

    I loved this poem….and kappas you need to shut up your no better than us americans you just jealus.

  39. Kirsten says:

    Emily has inspired my life in so many ways, her work is so amazing to me and many other people i think that When she wrote her work she took her time and did her best

  40. Amy says:

    i think we’re all agreed that this is a magnificent poem, i really liked your comments mark. but i also think the rest of you who post a comment merely to insult someone else really need to get a life, i dont care what country your from. USA, Australia, Canada, whatever, we all got problems. did ya ever stop to think that its the negative people emily dickinson was avoiding by staying shut up in her house? maybe emily thought the rose was lucky, it would be missed by only a few, but its life still had meaning and was beautiful, no matter how secluded.

  41. Mark Cooper says:

    This poem is great, because it gives us a glance into Emily Dickinson’s soul, since she feels her life was a journey and she traveled it all alone and was so depressed, which is quite touching.

  42. wyita says:

    that poem was real good becaues i was feeling it i am a porty myself so if you need me just write at the e-mail i give you that poem was real nice

  43. April says:

    Nice…..that was very poetic

  44. Kandis says:

    This is to the Kappas crap talker: Why do you care what Ashley says, besides she is talking about the poem and relating it to her life like everyone on here does so quit talking crap and being jealous of Americans dont hate us cause you aint us you Australian dime store hooker

  45. markka says:

    hi! it seems that i am one of the most recent persons to visit this website! well, i also chose this poem for my hw, original, am i not? jajaja well, i think that this poem means how life will be after we pass away, if someone is going to notice or care, Many of us are scared that we are not thought of after we die, but as the poem says, we are pilgrims that are just little time in this world, so we have to enjoy it! bye,bye!

  46. machella says:

    I chose this poem 4 my h/w 2. I really thoght it was beautiful.

  47. meina says:

    this is the best poem i ever read. can show emotion feeling of a woman!!

  48. lea says:

    i am singing this poem in song form and i think it is very deep and has a great morral

  49. Breann says:

    i just wanted to say that i agree w/Ashley #9 in this. i also think that we should all live life to its fullest. i think that even if some people don’t notice that you’re there that that’s okay because there has got to be someone who will notice. and even if some people don’t notice life always goes on. just do your best and you’ll get through it. hey at least the rose had a bee and a butterfly who would miss it. well, any ways i just think that this poem says a lot about every day life.

  50. Bee says:

    I chose this for my h/w 2, I liked this poem and I think it is marvelous

  51. brittany says:

    this poems is really great..i choose this poem for my research report..it means to me that you should notice the people that you wouldn’t never notice.

  52. help says:

    can anyone help me link this poem to imaginative journeys??????

  53. wilson says:

    like come on ashley get a life, comment on the poem and not ur sad little life u live.

    by the way i haven’t read the poem but i’m sure its really good

    go CANADA

  54. Anna Renström says:

    This poem is in my heart, and it tells about some of the most frequenlty used characters in Dickinsons poems, the butterfly and the bee. To me the poem is a symbol of how easy everything slips out of your hands, sometimes the flame of life is easy blown out by the smallest breeze. Emily to me represents the little Rose.

  55. Kappas says:

    This is was really a good poem. Really, I’m commenting on the first Ashley from the United Stupid States, please just die now. No one cares about what the hell you said or any other crap in your life or what bullshit you can “accomplish”. This is a place to comment about the poem not you, coon. Wow, I hate americans.

  56. Andrea says:

    i enjoyed this poem; it sounds just like my life because nobody notices me; it relates a lot to my life and it is good that someone expressed thier feelings about it; i should try the same thing so i won’t feel so bad about it

  57. Nikki says:

    It made me think that she was right that when you pick a rose nobody will care but the bees and the butterflys. Nobody will miss you. It gave me a new perspective that its very easy to die unnoticed but no matter what you will still be missed by a few.

  58. Mary! says:

    hey thats weird i chose this poem for my homework too!

  59. Lacy says:

    I think that Emily Dickinson is making a very fine point, looking through my perspective of this work. To me this is saying that no one will come near something if you take where it shouldn’t be or where no one can reach it. It’s as if the narrator (if it is meant to be her perspective of herself or not) is saying that she had locked herself away and no one can reach her unless they are the right person, the perfect person for the possition. And someone she feels is in need of her help. And if that person doesnt come to her, then only death can result.

  60. kirsten says:

    i know this poem. Only its a song im singing in uil solo contest. its a really good song u should listen to. whoever is reading this. i love it.

  61. anitia comostanion says:

    This poem intreaged me of better understanding of life and of DEATH

  62. Ashley says:

    There was a man, named Roy Williams who wrote a folk/classical song to these lyrics, and I’m singing it. I find the poem to be very interesting because there is so many ways that you can look at this poem and find a meaning. For me example, I feel like the rose is on a journey, it’s a pilgrim afterall. And the bee misses it because it no longer can go to the rose for nectar, and same with a butterfly. It’s interesting to see all the different point of views and how different they can be.

  63. Ashley says:

    I was thinking of chosing this for my h/w too.
    It means the same to me as it did to you guys. Sometimes I wonder who would care, who would notice, who would cry when I die. I sit down and realize that I am lucky to have the friendships and family that I have.

    But before I die I want to make my life rememerable.
    I want people to know who I am. I want to make myself an important influense in the world.

    I mean you have only one life to live so live it to the fullest and don’t think you can never do something.
    I know I am capable of anything I set my mind to. And I plan to achieve my wildest dreams while I’m still here.

  64. shivani sharma says:

    the poem is very nice and i really able to understand that what poet was tring to say it was relly marvalaous!!!

  65. Jo says:

    this is a great and deep poem if you think about it

  66. Nalani says:

    I did not choose this one for any homework assingment but i agree with all of you, if you were to die would anyone notice. I have been thinking about this alot when it comes to some of my flaky friends, i guess you could say im the rose and i wonder which of my friends are the bees and butterflies and which are the breeze that only sighs.

  67. Suanna says:

    I really like this poem i agree, it means when you die you might wonder who will notice. i also think it means that there are others around us that we might not notice, i am a big fan of emily dickinson in general and this is one of my fave poems!

  68. Wen jianchun says:

    I chose this poem for my h/w 2. It tells me not to belittle anybody around me.

  69. Jesseeka says:

    I chose this poem for my h/m 2. i thought the same thing as mary. wondering if anyone will notice that you left the world for you could be someone important but no one really cared. about you. about the rose. about life.

  70. mary says:

    i also chose this poem for my h/w. it’s very short. i love it. to me it means leaving the world and wondering if anyone would notice, realize, wonder. the little rose….

  71. krystal says:

    This was a nice poem…i chose for my homework ^_^

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