Title divine — is mine!
The Wife — without the Sign!
Acute Degree — conferred on me —
Empress of Calvary!
Royal — all but the Crown!
Betrothed — without the swoon
God sends us Women —
When you — hold — Garnet to Garnet —
Gold — to Gold —
Born — Bridalled — Shrouded —
In a Day —
Tri Victory
“My Husband” — women say —
Stroking the Melody —
Is this — the way?

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

4 Comments

  1. chalsie says:

    this poem is hard to understand.

  2. sue says:

    In other poems, Dickenson uses religious metaphors to relay the sacredness of personal love experience. In this poem, she does the same. This personal love experience appears to be that of the “other woman” who will never be a wife in name, but believes the title is hers in experience: “Title divine is mine. The wife without the sign.”
    She conveys the intense suffering involved in such a life: “Acute degree conferred on me: Empress of Calvary!” By using the metaphor of Calvary, she not only conveys suffering, but also sacrifice for the sake of others which in some way elevates her experience to that of martyr. And while she revels in her experience: “Royal – all but the Crown!” she knows that it is limited to moments in time: “Born, bridaled, shrouded in a day.” She also wonders if the choice she has made is the one she should continue: “Is this the way?”

  3. kakewalk says:

    I think the poem is from the perspective of the single woman looking at married women and wondering whether marriage is truly the way to go. Women are expected to be born, to marry, and to do; the title “wife” is the one that is supposed to symbolize respect and honor, like a queen, and be the most important in a female’s life. Women are so proud to be called wife and to call their men “husband”, because of how they were brought up. But, the author wonders, “Is this — the way?” Is this all the female’s life is supposed to be about? Is this the route she should take?

  4. kakewalk says:

    I think the poem is from the perspective of the single woman looking at married women and wondering whether marriage is truly the way to go. Women are expected to be born, to marry, and to die. The title “wife” is the one that is supposed to symbolize respect and honor, like a queen, and be the most important in a female’s life. Women are so proud to be called wife and to call their men “husband”, because of how they were brought up. But, the author wonders, “Is this — the way?” Is this all the female’s life is supposed to be about? Is this the route she should take?

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