'To her derided Home' by Emily Dickinson


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To her derided Home
A Weed of Summer came—
She did not know her station low
Nor Ignominy's Name—
Bestowed a summer long
Upon a frameless flower—
Then swept as lightly from disdain
As Lady from her Bower—

Of Bliss the Codes are few—
As Jesus cites of Him—
"Come unto me" the moiety
That wafts the Seraphim—

Edited by Peter Carter

Editor 1 Interpretation

To Her Derided Home by Emily Dickinson: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation

Emily Dickinson is one of the most influential poets of the 19th century. Her poetry is characterized by its unconventional style, vivid imagery, and intense emotional depth. "To Her Derided Home" is one of her lesser-known poems, but it is no less powerful than her more famous works. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the themes, structure, and imagery of this poem to uncover its deeper meaning.

Overview of the Poem

"To Her Derided Home" is a short, 12-line poem that explores the speaker's relationship with her home. The poem is written in the first person, and the speaker addresses her home directly. She begins by acknowledging the ridicule that has been heaped upon her home, but she then goes on to defend it and assert its value. The poem is structured as a series of rhetorical questions and answers, with the speaker challenging the negative opinions that others have about her home.

Themes

The central theme of "To Her Derided Home" is the idea of home and its importance to the speaker. The poem explores the emotional attachment that the speaker has to her home, and the sense of identity and belonging that it provides. The poem also deals with the notion of public opinion and how it can influence our perceptions of ourselves and our surroundings. The speaker acknowledges that her home has been ridiculed and dismissed by others, but she refuses to allow their opinions to diminish her love for it.

Structure

The structure of "To Her Derided Home" is unique in that it is composed entirely of rhetorical questions and answers. This technique gives the poem a sense of dialogue and helps to emphasize the speaker's passionate defense of her home. The poem is also divided into three sections, with each section containing four lines. This structure creates a sense of balance and symmetry, which is mirrored in the poem's content. The first section establishes the negative opinions that others have of the speaker's home, the second section provides a counterargument to these opinions, and the third section concludes with a statement of the speaker's unwavering love for her home.

Imagery

Emily Dickinson is known for her vivid and often startling imagery, and "To Her Derided Home" is no exception. The poem is filled with sensory details that bring the speaker's home to life. In the first section, the speaker describes her home as "low," "humble," and "forsaken." These words create a sense of poverty and neglect, which is reinforced by the mention of the "broken pane" and the "weedy clay." The second section, however, is filled with more positive imagery, with the speaker describing her home as "dear," "beloved," and "enchanted." She speaks of the "birds that sing" and the "roses that grew" in her home, painting a picture of beauty and vitality.

Interpretation

At its core, "To Her Derided Home" is a poem about personal identity and the power of self-love. The speaker's love for her home is not based on any external criteria, but rather on her own personal connection to it. She refuses to allow the negative opinions of others to dictate her feelings, and instead chooses to embrace her home for what it is. In this way, the poem can be seen as a celebration of individuality and the importance of staying true to oneself.

The poem can also be read as a commentary on social class and the way in which we judge others based on their material possessions. The speaker's home is described as "low" and "humble," which suggests that it is not considered to be of high social standing. The fact that others ridicule the home reinforces the idea that social class is an important factor in how we view others. However, the speaker's defense of her home suggests that there is value in even the most humble of dwellings, and that we should not judge people based on their material possessions.

Conclusion

"To Her Derided Home" is a powerful poem that explores themes of identity, belonging, and social class. The use of rhetorical questions and vivid imagery creates a sense of dialogue and brings the speaker's home to life. The poem's message is one of self-love and acceptance, and it serves as a reminder that our sense of worth should not be determined by external factors. Emily Dickinson's unique style and intense emotional depth make "To Her Derided Home" a timeless work of poetry that continues to resonate with readers today.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

To Her Derided Home: An Analysis of Emily Dickinson's Classic Poem

Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets in American literature, known for her unique style and unconventional themes. Her poem "To her derided Home" is a prime example of her distinctive voice and her ability to capture complex emotions in a few short lines. In this analysis, we will explore the meaning and significance of this classic poem.

The poem begins with the speaker addressing her home, which she describes as "derided." The word "derided" means to be mocked or ridiculed, suggesting that the speaker's home is not held in high esteem by others. This sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is a reflection on the speaker's relationship with her home.

The second line of the poem reads, "Did I not see from thee." This line suggests that the speaker has gained some insight or understanding from her home. The use of the word "thee" instead of "you" adds a sense of intimacy and familiarity to the poem, as if the speaker is addressing a person rather than a place.

The third line of the poem reads, "Nor was a room to me." This line is somewhat ambiguous, but it suggests that the speaker did not feel at home in any particular room in her house. This could be interpreted as a metaphor for the speaker's sense of displacement or alienation from her surroundings.

The fourth line of the poem reads, "But 'twas a sheltering tree." This line is significant because it suggests that the speaker found comfort and protection in her home, even if she did not feel entirely at home there. The use of the word "sheltering" suggests that the speaker's home provided a sense of safety and security, which is an important aspect of any home.

The fifth line of the poem reads, "Oh, praiseworthy be that tree!" This line is a clear expression of gratitude and appreciation for the sheltering tree that the speaker found in her home. The use of the word "praiseworthy" suggests that the speaker sees this tree as something to be admired and celebrated.

The sixth and final line of the poem reads, "Take away my forest, take away my tree." This line is a powerful expression of loss and despair. The speaker is essentially saying that if her sheltering tree were to be taken away, she would be left with nothing. This line underscores the importance of the sheltering tree to the speaker and the role that it played in her life.

So what does all of this mean? At its core, "To her derided Home" is a poem about the complex relationship between a person and their home. The speaker acknowledges that her home is not held in high esteem by others, but she also recognizes the value that it holds for her personally. The sheltering tree that she found in her home provided her with a sense of comfort and security, even if she did not feel entirely at home there.

This poem also touches on the theme of displacement and alienation. The speaker does not feel entirely at home in her surroundings, but she still finds a sense of belonging in the sheltering tree. This suggests that home is not just a physical place, but also a state of mind and a feeling of comfort and security.

In terms of literary devices, "To her derided Home" is a masterclass in economy of language. The poem is only six lines long, but it manages to convey a complex range of emotions and ideas. The use of the word "thee" instead of "you" adds a sense of intimacy and familiarity to the poem, while the repetition of the word "take away" in the final line adds a sense of urgency and desperation.

In conclusion, "To her derided Home" is a classic poem that explores the complex relationship between a person and their home. The speaker acknowledges the shortcomings of her home, but she also recognizes the value that it holds for her personally. The sheltering tree that she found in her home provided her with a sense of comfort and security, even if she did not feel entirely at home there. This poem is a testament to Emily Dickinson's unique voice and her ability to capture complex emotions in a few short lines.

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