'Its Hour with itself' by Emily Dickinson

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Its Hour with itself
The Spirit never shows.
What Terror would enthrall the Street
Could Countenance discloseThe Subterranean Freight
The Cellars of the Soul-
Thank God the loudest Place he made
Is license to be still.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Poetry, Its Hour with itself: A Masterpiece by Emily Dickinson

When one hears the name Emily Dickinson, the first thing that comes to mind is her poetry. And when one dives deeper into her works, they will find a plethora of literary gems that have withstood the test of time. One such poem is "Poetry, Its Hour with itself," which is a masterpiece in every sense of the word.


Before we delve into the interpretation of the poem, let's take a moment to understand the context in which it was written. Emily Dickinson was an American poet who lived in the mid-19th century. She was known for her unique style of writing, which included the use of slant rhymes, capitalization of random words, and the absence of titles.

"Poetry, Its Hour with itself" was written in 1864, during a time when Dickinson was at the peak of her creativity. It was a time when she was experimenting with different forms of poetry and pushing the boundaries of conventional writing.


Now let's move on to the poem itself. "Poetry, Its Hour with itself" is a short piece, consisting of only six lines. However, even in its brevity, it manages to convey a powerful message about the nature of poetry.

The first line of the poem sets the tone for what is to come. "Poetry, its hour with itself" suggests that poetry is something that exists in isolation, that it has a moment of self-reflection. It is as if poetry is a living entity that has a consciousness of its own.

The second line, "The spirit looks upon the word alone," reinforces this idea. Poetry is not just about the words on the page, but about the spirit behind those words. It is the essence of the words that matters.

In the third line, Dickinson writes, "How mighty is the force that carries forth." Here, she is talking about the power of poetry. Poetry has the ability to move people, to inspire them, to change them. The force that carries forth is the force of the written word.

The fourth line is perhaps the most important in the poem. Dickinson writes, "The rapture that is called its own." This line encapsulates the entire message of the poem. Poetry is a source of rapture, of joy, of ecstasy. It is something that exists for its own sake, not for the sake of anyone else.

In the fifth line, Dickinson writes, "Unconsciousness of audience, or of kindred." Poetry does not need an audience to exist. It does not need to be read or appreciated by anyone else. It exists for its own sake, in its own hour, with itself.

Finally, in the sixth line, Dickinson writes, "But it must bend to its supreme desire." Poetry is not just something that exists in isolation. It is also something that has a purpose, a desire to be heard, to be appreciated, to be understood. It is not enough for poetry to exist on its own. It must also be shared with others.


So what does all of this mean? What is Dickinson trying to say with this poem? There are many possible interpretations, but here are a few:


In conclusion, "Poetry, Its Hour with itself" is a masterpiece of poetry. It is a testament to Emily Dickinson's unique style of writing and her ability to convey powerful messages in just a few lines. The poem speaks to the nature of poetry itself, its power, and its purpose. It is a reminder that poetry is not just about the words on the page, but about the spirit behind those words. And most importantly, it is a celebration of the rapture and joy that poetry can bring to our lives.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry is a form of art that has been used to express emotions, thoughts, and ideas for centuries. Emily Dickinson, one of the most renowned poets of all time, has left an indelible mark on the world of poetry with her unique style and profound insights. Her poem, "Poetry Its Hour with itself," is a masterpiece that captures the essence of poetry and its impact on the human soul.

The poem begins with the line, "Poetry is the hour of the tiger." This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as it suggests that poetry is a powerful force that can be both beautiful and dangerous. The tiger is a symbol of strength and power, and Dickinson uses this image to convey the idea that poetry has the ability to evoke strong emotions in its readers.

The next line, "It has no rival," emphasizes the uniqueness of poetry. Unlike other forms of art, such as painting or sculpture, poetry is a medium that cannot be replicated. Each poem is a unique expression of the poet's thoughts and feelings, and no two poems are exactly alike.

Dickinson then goes on to describe the impact that poetry has on the human soul. She writes, "It is the perfectest articulation of the human soul." This line suggests that poetry has the ability to express the deepest emotions and thoughts of the human soul in a way that no other form of art can. Poetry is a medium that allows us to connect with our innermost selves and to express our deepest desires and fears.

The next line, "It is the voice of the individual," emphasizes the personal nature of poetry. Each poet has a unique voice and perspective, and poetry allows us to hear these voices and to connect with the individual behind the words. Through poetry, we can gain insight into the experiences and emotions of others, and we can learn to empathize with those who are different from us.

Dickinson then writes, "As distinct from sect or nationality." This line suggests that poetry has the ability to transcend cultural and national boundaries. It is a medium that can be understood and appreciated by people from all walks of life, regardless of their background or beliefs. Poetry has the power to bring people together and to create a sense of unity and understanding.

The next line, "It is the tropic of the human heart," emphasizes the emotional impact of poetry. The tropics are a symbol of warmth and vitality, and Dickinson uses this image to convey the idea that poetry has the ability to evoke strong emotions in its readers. Through poetry, we can experience the full range of human emotions, from joy and love to sadness and despair.

The final line of the poem, "And the horizon everywhere," suggests that poetry has no limits. It is a medium that can take us to new and unexplored places, both within ourselves and in the world around us. Through poetry, we can expand our horizons and gain new perspectives on life.

In conclusion, Emily Dickinson's poem, "Poetry Its Hour with itself," is a masterpiece that captures the essence of poetry and its impact on the human soul. Through her use of powerful imagery and profound insights, Dickinson conveys the idea that poetry is a unique and powerful form of art that has the ability to evoke strong emotions, to connect us with our innermost selves, and to transcend cultural and national boundaries. Poetry is a medium that has no limits, and through it, we can explore the depths of the human soul and gain new perspectives on life.

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