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

45 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. blue says:

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

  17. 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

  18. Ericka says:

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

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Emily Dickinson better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.