'Of this is Day composed' by Emily Dickinson

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Of this is Day composed
A morning and a noon
A Revelry unspeakable
And then a gay unknown
Whose Pomps allure and spurn
And dower and deprive
And penury for Glory
Remedilessly leave.

Edited by Peter Carter

Editor 1 Interpretation

Of this is Day Composed: A Masterpiece of Dickinson's Poetic Craftsmanship

Oh, how can one not be captivated by the sheer beauty and brilliance of Emily Dickinson's "Of this is Day composed"? A poem that embodies the quintessence of her poetic vision, it is a masterpiece of her artistic craftsmanship. Composed in Dickinson's signature style, the poem is a paean to the beauty of nature, an ode to the glory of life itself. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the poem's themes, form, and language, and delve into the depths of its meaning.


The poem is a meditation on the nature of life and the universe. It is a celebration of the beauty and mystery of the natural world, and of the power and majesty of life itself. The poem explores the connection between the human and the natural, between the individual and the universal. It is a reflection on the essential unity of all things, and on the transcendent power of the human spirit.


The poem is composed of three stanzas of four lines each, rhymed abcb. The meter is iambic tetrameter, giving the poem a smooth and flowing rhythm. The structure of the poem is simple and unadorned, yet its simplicity belies its complexity. The poem is a kaleidoscope of images and metaphors, each one adding a new layer of meaning to the overall composition.


Dickinson's language in "Of this is Day composed" is rich and evocative, full of vivid and sensory images. She uses metaphor and simile to create a sense of deep connection between the human and the natural world. The language is musical and lyrical, with a cadence that echoes the rhythms of nature itself. The poem is a symphony of sound and sense, a testament to Dickinson's mastery of language.


The poem begins with the lines "Of this is Day composed / A morning and a noon / A revelation and a rest / And then the pious term." The first stanza sets up the poem's central theme: the nature of life itself. By describing the day as composed of a morning, a noon, a revelation, and a rest, Dickinson is suggesting that life is a cycle, a series of experiences that are interconnected and interdependent. The morning represents the beginning of life, the noon represents its fullness, the revelation represents the moment of epiphany or enlightenment, and the rest represents death.

In the second stanza, Dickinson explores the connection between the human and the natural world. She describes the sky as a "sapphire shrine," suggesting that nature is sacred and holy. She also speaks of the "Abyss" and the "Sun," suggesting that there is a deep mystery at the heart of the universe, one that is both beautiful and terrifying. The stanza ends with the lines "The grass divides as with a comb / A spotted shaft is seen / And then it closes at your feet / And opens further on." Here, Dickinson is suggesting that the natural world is full of subtle and delicate connections, and that the human being is a part of this larger organic whole.

The third stanza is perhaps the most mysterious and enigmatic of the three. Dickinson writes, "Until the moss had reached our lips / And covered up our name / Until the seas have ceased to roll / Another - then - forgets." Here, Dickinson is suggesting that death is the great leveler, that all human beings are subject to its power, and that in the end, we will all be forgotten. Yet, at the same time, there is a sense of peace and acceptance in her words. She seems to be saying that death is a natural part of life, and that we should not fear it.


"Of this is Day composed" is a poem that embodies the essence of Emily Dickinson's poetic vision. It is a celebration of the beauty and mystery of life, a meditation on the essential unity of all things. Through her use of metaphor and language, Dickinson creates a world that is both sensual and spiritual, a world that is full of meaning and significance. The poem is a testament to Dickinson's genius as a poet, and it is a work that will continue to inspire and captivate readers for generations to come.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Of This is Day: An Analysis of Emily Dickinson's Classic Poem

Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets of all time, and her works continue to inspire and captivate readers even today. One of her most famous poems is "Of This is Day," a beautiful and thought-provoking piece that explores the themes of nature, life, and death. In this article, we will delve into the meaning and significance of this classic poem, and explore the ways in which Dickinson's unique style and perspective make it a timeless masterpiece.

The poem begins with the line "Of this is Day," which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the piece. The word "day" is a powerful symbol of life and vitality, and it suggests that the poem will be about the beauty and wonder of the natural world. Dickinson's use of the word "this" is also significant, as it suggests that the day she is describing is not just any day, but a specific moment in time that is particularly meaningful or significant.

As the poem continues, Dickinson describes the various elements of the natural world that make up this day. She mentions the "bells" that ring out in the distance, the "birds" that sing in the trees, and the "butterflies" that flit about in the air. These images are all associated with life and movement, and they suggest that this day is a time of growth and renewal.

However, Dickinson also includes darker elements in her description of the day. She mentions the "dying" leaves that fall from the trees, and the "shadows" that creep across the ground. These images are associated with death and decay, and they suggest that even in the midst of life, there is always the presence of death.

This theme of life and death is central to the poem, and it is explored in a number of different ways. For example, Dickinson describes the "sunset" that marks the end of the day, and the "stars" that appear in the sky as night falls. These images suggest that even as one day ends, another begins, and that the cycle of life and death is an ongoing process that never truly ends.

Another important theme in the poem is the idea of change and transformation. Dickinson describes the "butterflies" that transform from caterpillars, and the "leaves" that change color and fall from the trees. These images suggest that change is a natural and necessary part of life, and that even as things come to an end, new beginnings are always possible.

One of the most striking things about "Of This is Day" is Dickinson's use of language and imagery. Her descriptions of the natural world are vivid and evocative, and they create a sense of wonder and awe in the reader. For example, she describes the "dew" that "glistens" on the grass, and the "clouds" that "float" across the sky. These images are not only beautiful, but they also suggest a deeper meaning and significance to the world around us.

Dickinson's use of language is also notable for its simplicity and directness. She does not use complex metaphors or elaborate descriptions, but instead relies on simple, straightforward language to convey her ideas. This gives the poem a sense of clarity and immediacy, and makes it accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds.

In addition to its themes and language, "Of This is Day" is also notable for its structure and form. The poem is written in free verse, which means that it does not follow a strict rhyme or meter. Instead, Dickinson uses a variety of techniques, such as repetition and alliteration, to create a sense of rhythm and musicality.

The poem is also divided into three stanzas, each of which explores a different aspect of the day. The first stanza describes the natural world in all its beauty and vitality, while the second stanza introduces the theme of death and decay. The third stanza brings the poem full circle, with its description of the sunset and the stars, and its suggestion that even as one day ends, another begins.

Overall, "Of This is Day" is a beautiful and thought-provoking poem that explores some of the most fundamental themes of human existence. Through her vivid descriptions of the natural world, Dickinson reminds us of the beauty and wonder that surrounds us every day, even in the midst of darkness and decay. And through her simple yet powerful language, she invites us to contemplate the mysteries of life and death, and to find meaning and purpose in the world around us.

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