There is a solitude of space
A solitude of sea
A solitude of death, but these
Society shall be
Compared with that profounder site
That polar privacy
A soul admitted to itself —
Finite infinity.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem There is a solitude of space

43 Comments

  1. Desiree says:

    Emily Dickinson was one of the greatest poets to ever live. She translated her sadness and woe into beautiful, well written art. All who think of her as “lame” or simply just hard to understand cannot truly appriciate her literature, and i feel sorrow for you.

  2. Lara Miller says:

    Emily Dickinson is depicting the world within one’s mind compared with that of reality. In the poem There is a Solitude of Space, she says that the sea, death and space are only solace for those which need others to thrive, such as society for a society consists of many individuals. A profounder sighting, one which would mean more to her, is one where she is the only person, within that interaction, one with itself, one might find the meaning of life, existence and learn self truth. The last line, finite infinity literally means defined endlessness, like that of the mind or the soul, for although one can call it by the english language it is still perpetual.

  3. kevin ingol says:

    There Is a solitude of space

    This poem describes a inner loneliness that puts you in your own world

    like Dickerson decribes as she says “compared with that profounder site that polar

    privacy”. Futermore she depicts something that is always alone has no ending,

    “a soul admitted to itself finite infinity”. People personally could relate to this

    poem if their new to a school or area as Dickerson describes “there is solitude of

    space”. within yourself .

  4. amelia says:

    Emily Dickinson shows how the mind travels wonders when people are all alone. The sea, space, and death are ways that Dickinson shows solitude. I have gone throw times where my mind goes into deep thoughts about life when I am alone. My mind wonders about the past, present, and the future. In” There’s is a solitude of space, a solitude of death, but theses society will be” Dickinson is expresses how even with the solitude of death, space, and sea, the society will go on not caring, but the mind will always wonder.

  5. Brittany Terrell says:

    She first expresses her loss of loved ones and the emotional battle she has. I think that her loss was someone she really cared about, because of words she used. She expresses how far death seems to her by saying, “If immortality unveil a third event to me…” She uses the word ‘hopeless’, which meant to me that she was struggling to accept what happened. She then uses the word ‘parting’, which shows how much she is torn by the death. By saying, “My life closed twice before its close”, she is expressing that she has died twice inside before her actually coming to her death.

  6. Brittany Terrell says:

    She first expresses her loss of loved ones and the emotional battle she has. I think that her loss was someone she really cared about, because of words she used. I know how it feels to loose someone I love, but to go through it twice would be devastating. She expresses how far death seems to her by saying, “If immortality unveil a third event to me…” She uses the word ‘hopeless’, which meant to me that she was struggling to accept what happened. She then uses the word ‘parting’, which shows how much she is torn by the death. By saying, “My life closed twice before its close”, she is expressing that she has died twice inside before her actually coming to her death.

  7. Victoria says:

    Emily Dickinson’s poem compares the solitude of space, sea and death to a soul admitted to itself. A soul, forever belonging to a single person, can never be entered by society. “That polar privacy a soul admitted to itself,” means an enclosed soul that chooses to be alone and feels alone, even though society surrounds it. Emily Dickinson depicts the soul, almost as if it controls itself. She refers to a soul admitted to itself as “finite infinity.” Finite meaning to have measurable or definable limits and infinity defined as endless or unlimited space. I believe she is referring to the soul as choosing its limits and boundaries and being able to close itself to society or expand beyond the measures of space, sea or even death.

  8. Kelly Marble says:

    This poem expresses how we are when no one is looking. when emily stated Theree is a solitude of space.How in light we are all alone and we favor our surroundings but not becoming a by-product of them. for in true reality where you grow up and your friends and family have a major impact on who you become. Solitude shows you your true colors, your self from which you cannot blame no one but your self.A soul admitted to itself finite infinity. you will forever be yourself and are responsible for yourself.

  9. Mark Kimata says:

    When I first read this poem, I thought that Ms. Dickinson was trying to exclude herself from everyone. I came to realize that her nature of loneliness secluded her from everyone leaving her in solitude. Although she is alone, she comes to a realization, that this is the only true time where you can find your true self. In her case, she realizes that a person’s one true self, is their soul. A person’s soul is one that cannot be explained by anyone but themselves and is truly and definitely immeasurable.

  10. LaCresha X. Styles says:

    Emily Dickinson’s entire poem speaks of loneliness “there is a solitude of space” but the ultimate loneliness lives within the soul. Emily believes the soul lives on forever; it even surpasses death which is why she refers to it as infinte. To Emily, although the soul may be endless it remains alone for an eternity thus the line “Finite infinity.” The sea has many living creatures dwelling within it, space has and infinte amount of stars and plants to fill it,and death claims the lives of numerous people, animals, and plants. Their souls never interact, but instead they float in a realm seperate from the living. Although they are so close to one another, even in the living world, they are singular. Never in their entire existence do they feel the warmth of love from another soul, or any contact at all. That is “polar privacy.” That is the “profounder sight” that only the truley lonely heart can understand.

  11. Zack J. says:

    The central theme of this poem in one of solitude. It makes me wonder what in Ms. Dickenson’s life was troubling her so deeply that she would want to get away from it all to such an extent as “polar privacy” or even the “solitude of death.” I think that while she was writing this poem she started off sad, wanting to get away from it all; but towards the end she resolved her problems by admitting them, and it was only at this time in which she reached “Finite Infinity.” This poem has a deep meaning that applies to anyone. If you have a problem there is sometimes a need to be secluded, but in the end admitting the problem is the only solution. “A soul admitted to itself-“

  12. Becca D. says:

    The poem confused me a bit at first, I thought she was referring to how the soul is absolute, and how there is a “solitude of space” in the soul. Reading the poem over a few times, I came to understand that what Dickinson was referring to was that the only time you are absolutely alone, is when you are lonely. In the lines “A solitude of death, but these
    Society shall be”, she is referring to the loss of someone she greatly loved, which causes her to feel even more lonely. I felt sympathy for the narrator of this poem, which was apparently Dickinson, because she seems to feel to alone, and mourning over the loss of someone. Dickinson also portrays how being lonely is the only time your alone, when she states,”There is a solitude of space
    Asolitude of sea
    Asolitude of death, but these
    Society shall be.”
    This shows that even in the sea, space, or death, your still not completely in solitude.

  13. Hai says:

    Dickinson believes society are base on solitude and that it can be a good and a bad thing. the good thing about solitude is it give you the space and “privacy”. however too much solitude can create loneliness like the time that she is writing this poem because the dictions that uses shows her depression and sadness of being solitude.

  14. Lakiva S. says:

    Loneliness can be both appreciated and depressing. The reasons that people are alone, are when they want space from people, when they are enjoying the scenes of nature, and when they isolate themselves because of a death. The reasons that I just gave are normal, but solitude forever can be depressing; as shown in lines 6-8: “That polar privacy
    A soul admitted to itself-
    Finite Infinity.” Dickinson was probably going through something when she wrote this, because she began the poem with the good aspects of solitude, but ended with the bad. There could also be no good things to describe solitude, because solitude and society contrast each other. Society represents the togetherness of a society, not seclusion.

  15. Ogechi Anyanwu says:

    Although the theme that Emily Dickinson tries to portray in “There is solitude of Space” has to do with self-confinement, it can also be a little confusing to understand. To understand this poem you have to read in between the lines to grasp the full concept. Ms. Dickinson quotes:
    “ There is a solitude of space
    A solitude of sea
    A solitude of death, but these
    Society shall be”
    I feel that this means that even though you may not be on the same level as the community or society, it gives you time to reflect back on your own life using placidity and peace.
    “A soul admitted to itself
    Finite Infinity”
    This means that for others to accept you, you as an individual have to accept yourself. It can also mean that there are endless opportunities to accept yourself but you cannot let that chance pass by.

  16. Ogechi Anyanwu says:

    Although ” There is a solitude of Space” is a bit confusing, readers have to look deeper in between the lines to actually grasp the concept of Ms. Dickinson. I feel that Emily Dickinson intended to show that the theme of loneliness adds to the the solitude of space that is around. It states:
    ” There is a solitude of space
    A solitude of sea
    A solitude of death, but these
    Society shall be
    This means that with placidity and peace we can experience time alone by ourseleves.I also believe that when a person is isolated in its community it gives them time ot think of who they really are and their meaning of life. ” A soul admitted to itself” also means that if one is to understand someone they have to understand themselves first.

  17. Wale O. says:

    Personally, I think what this poem is trying to say is that there are various forms of solitude but only one form truly aids us in the process of self-discovery. Human nature will always have it that we act or become similar to the people we surround ourselves with, in other words our friends or family. This is all in an attempt at self-discovery, finding out who we truly are. But the only way to find our truest selves, or who we truly are, is when we are in social solitude away from others. It is only in this period of “polar privacy” that we can actually find our true identities.

  18. Amber C. says:

    I think the message intended by Emily Dickinson is humans are lonely on a regular basis and when death occurs. I didn’t really like it because it was very depressing. Her words were very strong in such a little amount. I believe she is saying humans are forever alone when death happens when she says “a soul admitted to itself-finite infinity.” I think she is saying individual space is what makes up society when she writes:
    “There is a solitude of space
    Asolitude of sea
    Asolitude of death, but these
    Society shall be.”

  19. Amber C. says:

    I definitely didn’t understand this poem. It seemed as if it didn’t imply enough information for me to comprehend it. I looked some of the words up and it started to make sense. Obviously, Emily Dickinson lost two men that she dearly loved. She experienced the pain of death twice before her close because in her poem she said:
    “My life closed twice before its close-
    it yet remains to see
    if immortality
    a third event to me.”
    It was very painful to her because she said “so huge, so hopeless to conceive.”

  20. Kayla Evelyn says:

    To me the two most powerful lines in this poem are “A soul admitted to itself, finite infinity.” Those words are just sooo thougth provoking, because they are beyond true. Emily speaks of all of these solitudes found in nature, such as space, sea, and death. However she recognizes and once more gives credit to the human soul in its importance. Dickinson aknowledges the importance and abilities of a soul not confinde to inner solitude.

  21. Jacquie says:

    This poem was very well written. It has a very powerful word choice. In the beginning I believe that by saying, “A solitude of death, but these
    Society shall be”, Dickinson was saying that loneliness caused by loss of a loved one is a part of life. I think she was mourning when she wrote this.

  22. Jack Phillip-Reynolds Culler says:

    I think that this poem represents how the mind and soul that is admitted to itself has no limits. This poem shows that if you take the time to examine your soul and figure out who you really are, your mind will take you where ever you want to go. “A soul admitted to itself” is one that is examined and completely understood by the person. She also explains how “polar privacy” is essential in examination of the mind and soul. The message that Dickinson is conveying is that solitude and isolation are key in finding your true self.

  23. Sarah Vaughan says:

    My idea of “There is a solitude of space” is that while being lonely you can experience your own true self. It spoke to me in a sense that you could be in a room with hundreds of people and still feel like a puny mouse stuck in the corner with no one to talk to. Although, while being lonely you can discover who you really are, what you are all about. When we hang out with other people they kind of rub off on us and we are never who we really are… unless we are solitude. “A soul admitted to itself,” means you are who you are from the inside out or the outside in, either way you will always be YOU! The word solitude spoke out to me also, being to yourself and withdrawn from society. 🙂

  24. Jessica Cayce says:

    Loneliness is the greatest solitude. However, one can be lonely and at peace. The poem represents the vastness of silence, peace, and solitude. Though being alone can be taken as isolated and out-of-reach of the world, it can also represent the time needed for someone to understand life and their surroundings. The solitude of “a soul admitted to itself” is simply silence and peace in society and especially onesself, which may eventually be disrupted unlike the infinite solitude found among space, the sea, and ultimately, death. “Finite infinity” can be seen by some as impossible, but in itself, it means solitude. The vast possibilities that are seen through lonely isolation can be good or bad. The result depends on the person and what they do with their tie alone, free from stress, pressure, and life in general.

  25. karen says:

    this poem is very interesting. i think Emily Dickenson is telling us to appreciate out solitary times that we have with ourselves. i believe that she is contrasting relative privacy and eternal privacy. for example when she says “There is a solitude of space
    A solitude of sea
    A solitude of death, but these
    Society shall be”, i think that she is talking about the peace and tranquility we may experience daily when we are by ourselves. but when she says “A solitude of death , but these Society shal be”, this is eternal loneliness which happens when we die. this is really expressed when it says “A soul admitted to itself–Finite infinity”, shows us that death is when we are finally alone forever.

    this is something that many of us fear. when we lose a loved one in death we feel lonley. and i think this is what dickenson was expressing in her poetry. she may have been going through a rough time when she wrote this poem.

  26. Patrick says:

    Well, here is my idea of the message. I believe that Emily Dickinson was trying to say that when you lokk at space for some time, you tend to get an idea that this space is something very desolate, very lonely. She also says that:
    “A solitude of death, but these
    Society shall be”
    I belive that what she means is that society will become just like death’s solitude: cold, baren, and alone. And when she puts Finite and Infinity together, it sounds very ironic, but slightly redundant. She also says:
    “That polar privacy
    A soul admitted to itself”
    This suggests a bit of a mysterious felling around this statement, because, how can a soul be admitted onto itself? Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron in there, if you ask me.

  27. elexis and alexandra says:

    Dickinson talks about solitude and loneliness and how it affects the mind, but in an abstract and vague way. Her use of metaphors like space and sea make it a little easier to understand her way of thinking.

  28. Heather Bishop says:

    I get a unique message from this poem. After I read the poem for the third time I realized that Dickinson describes many different degrees of solitude. Space, to me, is like looking from the outside in. You are looking in on the world and everyone elses conflicting issues and using them as examples on how to fix yourself. The sea, to me, is like a calm, relaxing solitude. It is the kind of solitude you experience when you take a day and go to the beach. You are not isolating yourself from the world, and if you are you are giving yourself time to think and breathe. However death, to me, is the ultimate isolation. Your life is very precious. You can have all the solitude in world, but if you do not have your life you cannot have the same solitude. For instance if you believe in Heaven, you are going to be with God and all the angels when your times is over in this world, on the downside if you go to hell, you are going to have solitude, but in a painful manner. So death is a crazy way to describe solitude. ” A soul admitted to itself–Finite Infinity” appeals to me. You have no limits as it says and are free to do whatever you please. You have endless possiblities when you isolate yourself, I disagree, you cannot feel love, you will not let love in. To me you can never be completly solitude. The word “Death” however makes my mind cringe. People will do anything to let go of their problems, but even death, the ulitimate solitude, you are still not alone.

  29. Heather Bishop says:

    I get a unique message from this poem. After I read the poem for the third time I realized that Dickinson describes many different degrees of solitude. Space, to me, is like looking from the outside in. You are looking in on the world and everyone elses conflicting issues and using them as examples on how to fix yourself. The sea, to me, is like a calm, relaxing solitude. It is the kind of solitude you experience when you take a day and go to the beach. You are not isolating yourself from the world, and if you are you are giving yourself time to think and breathe. However death, to me, is the ultimate isolation. Your life is very precious. You can have all the solitude in world, but if you do not have your life you cannot have the same solitude. For instance if you believe in Heaven, you are going to be with God and all the angels when your times is over in this world, on the downside if you go to hell, you are going to have solitude, but in a painful manner. So death is a crazy way to describe solitude. ” A soul admitted to itself–Finite Infinity” appeals to me. You have no limits as it says and are free to do whatever you please. You have endless possiblities when you isolate yourself, I disagree, you cannot feel love, you will not let love in. To me you can never be completly solitude. The word “Death” however makes my mind cringe. People will do anything to let go of their problems, but even death, the ulitimate solitude, you are still not alone.

  30. Jonny T. says:

    Yeh….I live in North Agusta and I had to do this lame ass poem for my project. What the hell!!! This thing is so god damn hard to comprehend. Emily Dick, if your out there looking down on this message, just wnna let u know im gnna rekill you if you come back to life so no one ever has to translate one of the fking poems again! BAM! take taht Dickinson! oober poonage

  31. Sarah says:

    This poem is rather peculiar. This poem is talking about how there is a solitude of space. Factors of space such as the sea, death, and just space. It allows us to comprehend the idea of how the emptiness of ones self allows for them to realize their true and inner selves. That a soul admitted to itself is finite infinity.

  32. cherell bostic says:

    This poem really caught my attention. This poem expresses the value of the soul. Truthfulness to your body will bring you great pleasure and relief to you. but the only way to accomplish or experience this is to find “absolute solitude” in one’s self.

  33. Ashleigh says:

    I believe that this poem means there are many ways to be “solitary”, but they are all of a social aspect rather than a mental/psychological viewpoint. People generally conform to other peoples and groups. This is where we find the basis of “who we are”. When we divide ourselves socially from others we find who we really are. Things like solitary confindment allow you to see your viewpoints while not relying on others’ opinions. You can find out who you are psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, etc. by alienating yourself from all others.

    Ashleigh

  34. M~Dub says:

    This poem talks about the depth of the human soul. How thats once we admitt things to ourselves we find a peace in mind,body, and spirit. Dickinson was able to pull things from every angle of life which we view as beautiful and as harsh (i.e. the sea and death). By doing this is allows us to understand we must not only admitt only our triumphs to our soul but also our harships and our defeats.

  35. Tiffany Bynum says:

    I was a little kind of confuse on What Emily Dickinson was trying to say but as I kept on reading it and finally understood what she is saying. Emily Dickinson is saying that space, sea and death are all places of empty space and solitude. But,there is nothing like being alone in society and being content. Emily Dickinson also said that the soul admitted to itself finite infinity. Emily is saying that soul is admitted to itslef and is choosing to be along.

  36. Katie says:

    I think this poem is about the post-grieving period. After grieving, you accept your loss, make peace with yourself and move on. Time heals pain in our souls and wounds in our hearts. After every storm, the sun shines brighter than it ever has.

  37. Fernando says:

    This poem is speaking about the solitude with everything except in the soul with itself. The soul itself will never be alone with itself; but if your try and look for a way out in other things, it will not be found. Dickinson probably wrote while still mourning the death of the two men she loved.

  38. Nick says:

    Do not desecrate this poem with your useless comment. I agree with the first two comments, the poem is really about finding one’s self and the only way to accomplish this is to experience absolute solitude such as the examples she gives.

  39. blue says:

    this peom is about pie. and how she’s allergic to it. DUH!!

  40. Jim Thorpe says:

    This poem rocks! In fact it is Rocktacular! So rocktacular that we named our band Finite Infinity! Nice choice of words Emily. High-Five!
    – Nor*Cal

  41. Ericka says:

    This poem is awesome I really like how she uses her words.

  42. Craig Berg says:

    I cringed when I read that only one comment on this great poem had been posted. I have clearly experienced “that polar privacy” through practice of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation program. Dickinson most certainly had it too, since she expresses it in astonishingly apt expressions. Maharishi describes it very clearly, (but in prose, not poetry)in his Vedic Science. He describes it as “self-referral” consciousness, in which infinity collapses to a point. Unbounded consciousness knows itself by collapsing its infinity to a point of itself. Yes, this is hard to conceptualize, but it is easy to experience when one has learned the technique for doing so!

  43. Mr. Rosenthal says:

    Visiing the the sea, or gazing into space one can expericence solitude. Perhaps, like Emerson, she experiences herself while in communion with Nature.
    The solitude in communion with nature is like being in company compared to the solitude of consciousness perceiving itself only.

    Great yogies and meditators talk about Brahman, or pureblissful consciousness. Eternity, consciousness, and bliss.

    Unbeknown to Emerson and Dickinson, and aluded to by Socrates, is a realm of pure consciousness, filled with transcendental variety, all at oneness with All.

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