Where every bird is bold to go
And bees abashless play,
The foreigner before he knocks
Must thrust the tears away.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem Where every bird is bold to go

1 Comment

  1. Michael Arbib says:

    “abashless” was not a word in my lexicon, but my knowledge of English word formation let me infer that it meant “not bashful” or “without bashfulness”. This caused a momentary pause to wonder what “bash” could be for “bashful” to mean “full of bash.” I later learned from the OED that this bash is formed from abash by loss of the initial a (the process is called aphesis); and that abash means “To destroy the self-possession or confidence of (any one), to put out of countenance, confound, discomfit, or check with a sudden consciousness of shame, presumption, error, or the like”.

    However, this still leaves me unsure as to what meaning Emily Dickinson intended to convey. Perhaps it was “When one encounters a place of beauty and tranquility for the first time, one cannot but be overcome by emotion” – and perhaps not. Any thoughts?

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