Who is the East?
The Yellow Man
Who may be Purple if He can
That carries in the Sun.

Who is the West?
The Purple Man
Who may be Yellow if He can
That lets Him out again.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem Who is the East?

1 Comment

  1. Thomas Hanson says:

    This poem will seem incomprehensible until one realizes that “Purple” refers to a sunset. “The Yellow Man” is not an Asian, but rather the sun between its rising and its setting. It stands for the “East” because that is where it rises. If the yellow man arrives at the western horizon, the sunset will allow the purple man to show himself if “He” carries him to the west. Who is “He”? Either God or the sun itself (who transports both the yellow and the purple men inside itself). The second quatrain should present no problem once the first is understood. The purple man will give way to the yellow man as the course of nature performs its circular journey.

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