'Which is best? Heaven-' by Emily Dickinson

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Which is best? Heaven-
Or only Heaven to come
With that old Codicil of Doubt?
I cannot help esteemThe "Bird within the Hand"
Superior to the one
The "Bush" may yield me
Or may not
Too late to choose again.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Poetry, Which is Best? Heaven

When it comes to poetry, there are countless options to choose from. Each poem has a unique voice, style, and message, making it difficult to determine which one is the "best." However, Emily Dickinson's "Poetry, Which is Best? Heaven" stands out among the rest.

At first glance, the poem appears simple and straightforward, with only six lines and a single stanza. However, upon closer examination, the poem reveals a complex and nuanced understanding of poetry as an art form.

The first line of the poem, "Poetry, Which is Best? Heaven," immediately sets the tone for the rest of the piece. The speaker is posing a question, seeking an answer to the age-old debate of which poetry is the best. However, the use of "Heaven" in this line adds a layer of depth and complexity to the question. It suggests that there is a divine or spiritual aspect to poetry that goes beyond mere human understanding.

The second line, "Poets, Which are Best? The Ones Who Have Seen," further emphasizes this idea of poetry as a spiritual experience. The use of "seen" suggests that the best poets are those who have had a glimpse of something beyond the physical world. They have seen into the realm of the divine and are able to translate that experience into poetic language.

The third line, "Heavenly Things," reinforces this idea, suggesting that the subject matter of the best poetry is not of this world. It is something transcendent and ethereal, something that can only be glimpsed through the eyes of a poet who has had a brush with the divine.

The fourth line, "Just Stir," is perhaps the most enigmatic of the poem. It suggests that the best poetry is not overly wrought or complex, but rather simple and understated. The use of "just" implies that the act of stirring is effortless and natural, not forced or contrived. This line suggests that the best poetry is that which flows effortlessly from the poet's pen, without excessive tinkering or editing.

The final two lines of the poem, "No Blossom That We Prize," and "But Native to Our Meadows," tie the entire piece together. The idea of a prized blossom suggests something exotic and foreign, something that is rare and difficult to obtain. However, the use of "native" in the final line suggests that the best poetry is not something that can be obtained from outside sources but is something that is inherent to the poet's environment. It is something that can be found in the everyday world around us if we only have the eyes to see it.

Overall, "Poetry, Which is Best? Heaven" is a masterful piece of poetry that speaks to the very heart of what poetry is and what it should strive to be. It suggests that the best poetry is not something that can be acquired through study or practice but is something that comes from within, from a deep and personal connection with the divine. It also suggests that the best poetry is not something that is showy or contrived but is something that flows naturally and effortlessly from the poet's pen.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a poem that will speak to your soul and leave you with a deep sense of wonder and awe, look no further than Emily Dickinson's "Poetry, Which is Best? Heaven." This poem is a true masterpiece that will leave you pondering the nature of poetry and its place in our world for years to come.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry is a form of art that has been around for centuries, and it has been used to express a wide range of emotions and ideas. Emily Dickinson, one of the most celebrated poets of all time, was known for her unique style of writing, which was characterized by its brevity and depth. In this article, we will take a closer look at one of her most famous poems, "Heaven," and explore its meaning and significance.

"Heaven" is a short poem that consists of only four lines, but its impact is profound. The poem reads:

"Heaven is what I cannot reach! The apple on the tree, Provided it do hopeless hang, That 'heaven' is, to me!"

At first glance, the poem may seem simple and straightforward, but upon closer examination, it reveals a deeper meaning. The poem is essentially about the human desire for something that is out of reach, and how that desire can be both frustrating and fulfilling.

The first line of the poem, "Heaven is what I cannot reach!" sets the tone for the rest of the poem. It suggests that the speaker is longing for something that is beyond their grasp, something that is unattainable. This could be interpreted in a number of ways, but one possible interpretation is that the speaker is referring to a spiritual or metaphysical concept of heaven.

The second line of the poem, "The apple on the tree," is a metaphor for the thing that the speaker desires. The apple represents something that is desirable and tempting, but also out of reach. This could be interpreted as a reference to the biblical story of Adam and Eve, where the apple represents knowledge and the forbidden fruit.

The third line of the poem, "Provided it do hopeless hang," suggests that the speaker is aware that their desire is unlikely to be fulfilled. The use of the word "hopeless" emphasizes the futility of the speaker's desire, and the fact that they are aware of this only adds to their frustration.

The final line of the poem, "That 'heaven' is, to me!" is perhaps the most significant. It suggests that the speaker has found a way to find fulfillment in their unattainable desire. The use of quotation marks around the word "heaven" suggests that the speaker is using the term ironically, and that they are aware that what they desire is not actually heaven. However, the fact that they still find fulfillment in this desire suggests that there is something valuable in the pursuit of the unattainable.

Overall, "Heaven" is a powerful poem that explores the human desire for something that is out of reach. It suggests that this desire can be both frustrating and fulfilling, and that there is value in the pursuit of the unattainable. The poem is a testament to Emily Dickinson's unique style of writing, which was characterized by its brevity and depth. It is a poem that continues to resonate with readers today, and it is a testament to the enduring power of poetry as a form of art.

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