There came a Wind like a Bugle —
It quivered through the Grass
And a Green Chill upon the Heat
So ominous did pass
We barred the Windows and the Doors
As from an Emerald Ghost —
The Doom’s electric Moccasin
That very instant passed —
On a strange Mob of panting Trees
And Fences fled away
And Rivers where the Houses ran
Those looked that lived — that Day —
The Bell within the steeple wild
The flying tidings told —
How much can come
And much can go,
And yet abide the World!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem There came a Wind like a Bugle —


  1. Jacqueline says:

    I interpreted “Emerald Ghost” as being the greenish air that appears before a tornado that is unwanted , so they lock everything up.

  2. Casey says:

    For a haunting recount, listen to the poem set to a song for mezzo/soprano and piano by Aaron Copland. On “Song of America” by mezzo soprano Jan DeGaeatani. Very amazing!

  3. Krista says:

    I especially like how she compares the wind that announces the approach of a storm to a bugle, an instrument that was at one point often used to warn or announce something. What I did not fully comprehend was line six, about the “Emerald Ghost.” If someone could share their thoughts on this that’d be great!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I interpreted this poem that it was describing a storm is on it’s way. It said “the rivers where the houses ran” and “the bell within the steeple wild” and lastly “we barred the windows and the doors” It’s as if they were preparing themselves for a strong storm. Some type of natural disaster that could destroy them physically, emotionally and spiritually. I also thought it could have been talking about how a she went through a difficult time and she compared her feelings to a raging storm. Metaphorically speaking of course. I felt as though she did a good job comparing herself to nature. You just had to read between the lines in order to see things as she perceived them.

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