'"Go travelling with us!"' by Emily Dickinson

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"Go travelling with us!"
Her travels daily be
By routes of ecstasy
To Evening's Sea—

Edited by Peter Carter

Editor 1 Interpretation

“Go travelling with us!” by Emily Dickinson: A Journey Through Life

As I sit down to write this literary criticism and interpretation of Emily Dickinson’s poem “Go travelling with us!”, I can’t help but feel excited about the journey that lies ahead. Dickinson’s poetry has always been a source of fascination to me, and this particular poem is no exception. I am eager to explore the themes, symbolism, and literary devices at play in this work, and to delve deeper into the meaning behind the words.

First, let’s take a look at the poem itself:

Go travelling with us!
The road is wide and long,
And many are the byways
That lead the feet along.

Go travelling with us!
The sun is bright and warm,
And sweetly sings the robin
His wild and joyous psalm.

Go travelling with us!
The world is fair and wide,
And all its paths are open
To those who dare to stride.

Go travelling with us!
Life is but a span,
And he who journeys farthest
Will find the most in man.

At first glance, this poem seems to be a simple invitation to join the speaker on a journey. But, as with all of Dickinson’s poetry, there is much more going on beneath the surface.

One of the most prominent themes in “Go travelling with us!” is the idea of life as a journey. The speaker invites the reader to travel with them along the road of life, with all its twists and turns, joys and sorrows. The repetition of the phrase “Go travelling with us!” emphasizes the importance of companionship and shared experience on this journey. It is not a solitary path, but one that is meant to be traveled with others.

The use of nature imagery in the poem also adds to the theme of life as a journey. The “wide and long” road, the “bright and warm” sun, and the singing robin all evoke a sense of movement and progress. The world is described as “fair and wide”, with “paths…open to those who dare to stride.” This suggests that there are many opportunities for exploration and growth in life, but they are only available to those who are willing to take risks and venture off the beaten path.

Another important theme in “Go travelling with us!” is the idea of seizing the moment and living life to the fullest. The line “Life is but a span” emphasizes the brevity of human existence and the need to make the most of the time we have. The speaker asserts that “he who journeys farthest/Will find the most in man”, suggesting that it is only by taking risks and exploring new paths that we can truly discover the depths of our own humanity.

The language and structure of the poem also contribute to its deeper meaning. The use of repetition, as mentioned earlier, emphasizes the importance of companionship and shared experience on the journey of life. The short, simple lines of the poem give it a sense of urgency and immediacy, as if the speaker is eager to set out on the journey and wants the reader to come along with them. This creates a sense of intimacy between the speaker and the reader, as if they are old friends embarking on a new adventure together.

In terms of symbolism, the road itself can be seen as a metaphor for life. It is “wide and long”, with many “byways/That lead the feet along”, suggesting that there are many different paths we can take in life. The sun, with its warmth and light, represents the joys and pleasures of life, while the singing robin symbolizes the beauty and wonder of the natural world. Together, these symbols create a rich and vivid picture of the journey of life, with all its ups and downs, joys and sorrows.

In conclusion, “Go travelling with us!” is a powerful and evocative poem that invites the reader on a journey through life. Through its themes of companionship, exploration, and seizing the moment, it encourages us to live our lives to the fullest and to embrace all that the journey has to offer. Its use of nature imagery, repetition, and symbolism creates a rich and vivid picture of the journey of life, and its short, simple lines give it a sense of urgency and immediacy. Overall, “Go travelling with us!” is a beautiful and inspiring work of poetry that speaks to the universal human experience of life as a journey.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Go travelling with us! by Emily Dickinson is a classic poem that captures the essence of adventure and exploration. The poem is a call to action, urging the reader to join the speaker on a journey of discovery. In this analysis, we will explore the themes and literary devices used in the poem, as well as its historical context and relevance today.


The primary theme of the poem is travel and exploration. The speaker invites the reader to join them on a journey, promising excitement and adventure. The poem celebrates the thrill of discovery and the joy of experiencing new things. It encourages the reader to step out of their comfort zone and embrace the unknown.

Another theme that emerges in the poem is the idea of freedom. The speaker describes the journey as a chance to escape the constraints of everyday life and experience true freedom. This theme is particularly relevant in the context of Dickinson's life. As a woman living in the 19th century, Dickinson was limited in her opportunities for travel and adventure. The poem can be seen as a reflection of her desire for freedom and exploration.

Literary Devices

The poem is rich in literary devices, which help to create a sense of excitement and urgency. One of the most prominent devices is repetition. The phrase "Go travelling with us!" is repeated throughout the poem, emphasizing the speaker's invitation and creating a sense of momentum.

Another device used in the poem is imagery. Dickinson paints vivid pictures of the journey, describing "mountains blue" and "rivers wide." These images help to create a sense of place and transport the reader to the world of the poem.

The poem also uses personification, giving human qualities to non-human objects. For example, the "mountains blue" are described as "nodding" and the "rivers wide" are "laughing." This technique adds a playful and whimsical tone to the poem.

Historical Context

To fully appreciate the poem, it is important to understand the historical context in which it was written. Dickinson lived in the 19th century, a time when travel was much more difficult and dangerous than it is today. The poem can be seen as a reflection of the growing interest in travel and exploration during this time period.

The 19th century was also a time of great social change, particularly for women. Women were beginning to challenge traditional gender roles and seek greater independence. Dickinson herself was a trailblazer in this regard, choosing to live a largely solitary life and pursuing her writing despite societal expectations.

Relevance Today

Despite being written over a century ago, the themes of the poem are still relevant today. In a world where travel is more accessible than ever before, the poem reminds us of the importance of exploration and adventure. It encourages us to step out of our comfort zones and embrace new experiences.

The theme of freedom is also particularly relevant today. In a world where many people feel trapped by their circumstances, the poem reminds us that we have the power to break free and pursue our dreams. It encourages us to take risks and seize opportunities, even if they seem daunting at first.


In conclusion, "Go travelling with us!" by Emily Dickinson is a classic poem that celebrates the joy of travel and exploration. Through its use of repetition, imagery, and personification, the poem creates a sense of excitement and urgency. It is a reflection of the growing interest in travel and exploration during the 19th century, as well as Dickinson's own desire for freedom and independence. Today, the poem remains relevant, reminding us of the importance of stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing new experiences.

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