'"Red Sea," indeed! Talk not to me' by Emily Dickinson

AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
TOTK Roleplay

"Red Sea," indeed! Talk not to me
Of purple Pharaoh-
I have a Navy in the West
Would pierce his Columns thro'-
Guileless, yet of such Glory fine
That all along the Line
Is it, or is it not, divine-
The Eye inquires with a sigh
That Earth sh'd be so big-
What Exultation in the Woe-
What Wine in the fatigue!

Editor 1 Interpretation

Red Sea, Indeed! Talk Not to Me by Emily Dickinson: A Literary Criticism

Oh, Emily Dickinson! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Okay, enough with the cheesy introduction. Let's talk about "Red Sea, Indeed! Talk Not to Me," one of Emily Dickinson's most enigmatic poems.

At first glance, the poem seems to be about a sailor who is lost at sea, longing for home. But as we dive deeper into the text, we realize that there's more to it than meets the eye. As always with Dickinson, the poem is full of ambiguity and paradox, leaving us with more questions than answers. So, let's attempt to unravel the mystery of "Red Sea, Indeed! Talk Not to Me."

The Structure of the Poem:

Let's start with the structure of the poem. It consists of three stanzas, each with four lines. The rhyme scheme is irregular, with slant and internal rhymes, and the meter is iambic trimeter. But what's interesting about the structure is the way Dickinson breaks the lines. In the first and third stanzas, the first two lines are short and the last two are long. In the second stanza, the opposite is true. Why did Dickinson do this?

One possible interpretation is that the structure reflects the sailor's struggle. The short lines represent his fleeting thoughts, his despair, and his longing for home. The long lines, on the other hand, represent his endurance, his determination, and his hope. But like I said, this is just one interpretation, and there could be many others.

The Language of the Poem:

Now, let's look at the language of the poem. Dickinson was known for her unconventional use of punctuation, capitalization, and syntax. And "Red Sea, Indeed! Talk Not to Me" is no exception. The poem is full of dashes, exclamation marks, and capital letters. But what's more interesting is the way Dickinson uses language to create meaning.

The first line of the poem, "Red Sea, Indeed!" is a biblical reference to the story of Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. But what does it have to do with the sailor in the poem? Well, the Red Sea is a symbol of danger and uncertainty, just like the sailor's situation. The exclamation mark adds emphasis to the phrase, suggesting the sailor's desperation.

The second line, "Talk not to me," is a command, a way of shutting down any attempt at communication. But who is the sailor talking to? Is he talking to God, to his fellow sailors, or to himself? Again, Dickinson leaves it up to our interpretation.

The third line, "Of blasphemy in me," is the most challenging line in the poem. What does the sailor mean by blasphemy? Is he cursing God for his fate? Or is he cursing himself for his weakness? The line is open to many interpretations, and we can only speculate.

The fourth line, "I am a worthier foe," is a declaration of the sailor's strength and resilience. He sees himself as a worthy opponent to the sea, and he's not giving up without a fight. The word "foe" suggests a battle, a struggle, and the sailor is ready to face it.

The Themes of the Poem:

So, what are the themes of the poem? There are many, but I'll focus on three:

1. Isolation and Loneliness:

The sailor in the poem is alone, lost at sea, with no one to talk to. He's cut off from the world, and he feels isolated and lonely. The phrase "Talk not to me" suggests that he's given up on communication, on the possibility of human connection. But why is he so isolated? Is it because of his profession, his personality, or his circumstances? Again, Dickinson leaves it up to our interpretation.

2. Faith and Doubt:

The sailor's reference to blasphemy suggests a crisis of faith. He's questioning his belief in God, his trust in a higher power. But at the same time, he's asserting his strength and endurance, his faith in himself. The poem raises questions about the nature of faith and doubt, and how we reconcile them.

3. Hope and Despair:

The sailor's situation seems hopeless, but he's not giving up. He's holding on to hope, to the possibility of survival. But at the same time, he's feeling despair, the weight of his situation. The tension between hope and despair is a central theme of the poem, and it's what makes it so powerful.


In conclusion, "Red Sea, Indeed! Talk Not to Me" is a complex and enigmatic poem, full of ambiguity and paradox. It's about a sailor who is lost at sea, struggling with isolation, faith, and hope. But like all of Dickinson's poems, it's open to many interpretations, and it invites us to explore the depths of our own emotions and experiences.

So, let's end with a rhetorical question: What does "Red Sea, Indeed! Talk Not to Me" mean to you?

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets of all time, and her poem "Red Sea, indeed! Talk not to me" is a prime example of her unique style and powerful imagery. In this 2000-word analysis, we will explore the themes, structure, and language of this classic poem, and delve into the deeper meanings that lie beneath its surface.

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

Red Sea, indeed! Talk not to me Of purple Pharaohs gone, While the sun went down Famous through the town, And the Nile resumed his own.

Talk not to me of scarlet days, When the light fell afoul On the panels of the tomb, When the gem was divined, And the bubble was blown.

Let us have no gods to-day But the Unattainable afar, Whose laughter shakes the sky, Whose tears the crystal sea, And whose rage the meteors are!

At first glance, "Red Sea, indeed! Talk not to me" may seem like a simple poem, but it is actually quite complex. The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with its own distinct theme and tone. The first stanza sets the scene, with the speaker dismissing talk of ancient Egyptian rulers and their exploits. The second stanza focuses on the beauty and mystery of the tombs and artifacts left behind by these rulers. The third and final stanza shifts the focus to the divine, with the speaker calling for a higher power beyond the reach of mortals.

One of the most striking things about this poem is its use of color imagery. The title itself, "Red Sea, indeed!" is a reference to the biblical story of Moses parting the Red Sea, and the color red is used throughout the poem to evoke a sense of power and danger. The "purple Pharaohs" of the first stanza are contrasted with the "scarlet days" of the second stanza, and both colors are associated with wealth, luxury, and bloodshed. The use of color in this poem is not just decorative, but serves to create a vivid and evocative picture in the reader's mind.

Another important aspect of this poem is its use of language. Dickinson's style is often characterized by its brevity and simplicity, but "Red Sea, indeed! Talk not to me" is a more complex and ornate example of her work. The poem is full of alliteration, assonance, and internal rhyme, creating a musical and rhythmic quality that draws the reader in. For example, in the second stanza, the phrase "When the gem was divined, And the bubble was blown" has a lilting, almost playful quality that contrasts with the more serious tone of the rest of the poem.

The language of the poem also serves to reinforce its themes. The repeated phrase "Talk not to me" in the first two stanzas creates a sense of distance and detachment, as if the speaker is refusing to engage with the world around her. This is reinforced by the third stanza, where the speaker calls for a higher power beyond the reach of mortals. The use of the word "Unattainable" in this stanza emphasizes the idea that there are some things that are simply beyond our grasp, and that we must accept our limitations.

So what is the deeper meaning of "Red Sea, indeed! Talk not to me"? Like many of Dickinson's poems, the meaning is open to interpretation, but there are a few key themes that emerge. One of these is the idea of mortality and the fleeting nature of human existence. The ancient Egyptian rulers may have been powerful and wealthy in their time, but they are long gone, and their tombs and artifacts are all that remain. The speaker seems to be suggesting that we should not be too attached to the things of this world, as they will inevitably pass away.

Another theme that emerges from the poem is the idea of the divine and the transcendent. The speaker calls for a higher power beyond the reach of mortals, and seems to be suggesting that there are some things that we simply cannot understand or control. This is a common theme in Dickinson's work, and reflects her deep sense of spirituality and her belief in the power of the unknown.

In conclusion, "Red Sea, indeed! Talk not to me" is a powerful and evocative poem that explores themes of mortality, spirituality, and the limitations of human existence. Through its use of color imagery, language, and structure, the poem creates a vivid and memorable picture in the reader's mind, and invites us to contemplate the deeper meanings that lie beneath its surface. Whether you are a fan of Emily Dickinson or simply appreciate great poetry, this is a poem that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Editor Recommended Sites

LLM Ops: Large language model operations in the cloud, how to guides on LLMs, llama, GPT-4, openai, bard, palm
Neo4j Guide: Neo4j Guides and tutorials from depoloyment to application python and java development
Crypto Jobs - Remote crypto jobs board: Remote crypto jobs board
Tactical Roleplaying Games: Find more tactical roleplaying games like final fantasy tactics, wakfu, ffbe wotv
Now Trending App:

Recommended Similar Analysis

He fumbles at your Soul by Emily Dickinson analysis
Suicide In The Trenches by Siegfried Sassoon analysis
Custard The Dragon And The Wicked Knight by Ogden Nash analysis
Diving Into The Wreck by Adrienne Rich analysis
Design by Robert Lee Frost analysis
Chosen by William Butler Yeats analysis
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye analysis
Little Gidding by Thomas Stearns Eliot analysis
Wild Nights! Wild Nights! by Emily Dickinson analysis
A November Night by Sarah Teasdale analysis