As if some little Arctic flower
Upon the polar hem —
Went wandering down the Latitudes
Until it puzzled came
To continents of summer —
To firmaments of sun —
To strange, bright crowds of flowers —
And birds, of foreign tongue!
I say, As if this little flower
To Eden, wandered in —
What then? Why nothing,
Only, your inference therefrom!


  1. monika says:

    The translation into German is abominable

  2. KatieLou says:

    this poem was written by a recluse, which makes me think that the little artic flower is Dickinson herself. The ‘polar hem’ could be her world which she lived in, and the ‘wondering down the latitudes’ could be her exploring the social world her friend enjoyed so much. The ‘firmaments of sun’ and ‘bright crowds of flowers’ are imagery explaining the bright light of candles and chandeleirs and the assortment of colours worn by party guests. The ‘birds of foregn tongue’ could by Dickinsons inability to understand why people went to these grand parties. The last two lines are conclusions of Dickinsons for this world she did not enjoy. They say ‘why, nothing’ as she still tries to comprehend why people go as there is no futher satisfaction – just a bad head in the morning!

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