'The Veins of other Flowers' by Emily Dickinson

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The Veins of other Flowers
The Scarlet Flowers are
Till Nature leisure has for Terms
As "Branch," and "Jugular."We pass, and she abides.
We conjugate Her Skill
While She creates and federates
Without a syllable.

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Veins of Other Flowers: A Deep Dive into Emily Dickinson's Poetry

It's hard to talk about Emily Dickinson without using words like "mysterious," "enigmatic," and "reclusive." Her poetry is like a puzzle that seems to have no solution, or a labyrinth with no way out. And yet, for all its apparent inscrutability, her work continues to captivate readers and scholars alike. Perhaps it's because, as Dickinson herself wrote, "The truth must dazzle gradually / Or every man be blind."

One of Dickinson's most intriguing poems is "The Veins of Other Flowers." At first glance, it seems like a simple enough observation of nature: "The spider as an artist / Has never been employed / Though his surpassing merit / Is freely certified." But as with most of Dickinson's poetry, there's more going on beneath the surface. So let's take a closer look and try to unravel some of the mysteries of this enigmatic work.

The Spider as an Artist

The poem begins with an assertion that seems straightforward enough: "The spider as an artist / Has never been employed." But what does that mean, exactly? Does it mean that no one has ever hired a spider to make art? Or does it mean that spiders don't make art at all, despite their "surpassing merit"?

At first, it might seem like Dickinson is simply making a joke—after all, it's hard to imagine anyone actually hiring a spider as an artist! But as we delve deeper into the poem, it becomes clear that there's more at stake here than a clever turn of phrase.

The Veins of Other Flowers

The second half of the poem begins with a striking image: "Within its sparrow cloister / Is a light unseen of bees / You, without suspecting it / Find your feet among surprises." Here, Dickinson seems to be drawing a contrast between the hidden, secret world of the spider and the more visible world of the bees and flowers.

But what does that have to do with veins? Dickinson writes, "In the veins of other flowers / The same bees honey hide / And solemnize in other bowers / And around other fires." At first, this might seem like a non sequitur—what do the veins of flowers have to do with bees and spiders?

But if we think about it a bit more, we can start to see some connections. Dickinson is pointing out that the bees are not limited to one particular flower or garden. They move from place to place, carrying the same pollen and nectar with them. And in doing so, they create a network of connections between different flowers and different spaces.

In the same way, Dickinson seems to be suggesting, the spider's art is not limited to the web it weaves. Its creativity and its influence extend beyond its immediate surroundings, like the veins that connect different parts of a flower.

Surpassing Merit

So what is this "surpassing merit" that Dickinson ascribes to the spider? It's not entirely clear, but there are a few clues in the poem. For one thing, Dickinson suggests that the spider's art is "unconscious." This might seem like a criticism at first—after all, we tend to value art that is deliberate and intentional. But Dickinson seems to be suggesting that there is something valuable about art that is created without self-consciousness or ego.

Furthermore, Dickinson notes that the spider's art has a kind of "certification" that is different from the human art world. It's not a matter of galleries or critics or sales figures—it's something more intrinsic and essential. This, too, seems to be a kind of praise for the spider's art.

But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the spider's art is its invisibility. Dickinson writes, "Nor has science an eye so keen / And optics sharp as this / To seize upon the aims / And signs of genius bliss." Here, she seems to be suggesting that the spider's art is not something that can be seen or measured by human means. And yet, it is there, existing in its own right, with its own "aims" and "signs."


So what are we to make of "The Veins of Other Flowers"? Like most of Dickinson's poetry, it resists easy interpretation or analysis. But perhaps that's part of its appeal. Dickinson's work asks us to slow down, to look closer, to pay attention to the subtle details and nuances of the world around us.

In this poem, she draws our attention to the spider, a creature that is often overlooked or dismissed. But in doing so, she suggests that there is something valuable and important about the spider's art, something that exists beyond the human art world.

And in the end, perhaps that's what Dickinson's poetry is all about—not finding answers or solutions, but simply learning to see the world in a new and different way. As she wrote in another poem, "To see the Summer Sky / Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie— / True Poems flee—."

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

The Veins of other Flowers: A Masterpiece by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson, one of the most celebrated poets of all time, was known for her unique style of writing that often explored themes of life, death, and nature. Her poem, The Veins of other Flowers, is a beautiful example of her work that captures the essence of life and the interconnectedness of all living things.

The poem begins with the line, "The Veins of other Flowers," which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the piece. Dickinson uses the metaphor of veins to describe the interconnectedness of all living things, just as veins carry blood throughout the body, connecting all the organs and tissues.

The second line, "The Scarlet Flowers are Till," is a reference to the fact that scarlet flowers are still, or motionless. This line sets the stage for the rest of the poem, which explores the idea of stillness and the beauty that can be found in it.

In the third line, Dickinson writes, "The Save in an immense Repose," which is a reference to the stillness of the flowers and the sense of calm that comes with it. The word "save" is used here to mean "except for," which suggests that the stillness of the flowers is the only thing that breaks the otherwise busy and chaotic world around them.

The fourth line, "The Hills are just behind," is a reference to the natural world that surrounds the flowers. Dickinson often used nature as a source of inspiration in her poetry, and this line is no exception. The hills represent the vastness of the natural world, which is both beautiful and intimidating.

The fifth line, "The Oaks erect their Purple Heads," is a reference to the trees that stand tall and proud in the background. The use of the word "erect" suggests strength and resilience, which is a common theme in Dickinson's work.

In the sixth line, Dickinson writes, "The Chaunting of the busy Birds," which is a reference to the birds that are busy going about their daily lives. The use of the word "chaunting" suggests a sense of urgency and busyness, which is contrasted with the stillness of the flowers.

The seventh line, "Is like the stir of Morning," is a reference to the beginning of a new day. The use of the word "stir" suggests movement and activity, which is a contrast to the stillness of the flowers. This line also suggests that the stillness of the flowers is a temporary state, and that they will soon be caught up in the busyness of the world around them.

The eighth line, "Or Nature's Private Drawer," is a reference to the idea that nature has its own secrets and mysteries that are hidden from human view. The use of the word "drawer" suggests that these secrets are carefully guarded and protected.

The ninth line, "Of which the Robin's Fondly Pulls," is a reference to the robin, which is a common bird in North America. The use of the word "fondly" suggests that the robin has a special relationship with nature, and that it is able to access the secrets that are hidden from human view.

The final line, "As if his little Beak," is a reference to the robin's beak, which is used to gather food and build nests. The use of the word "little" suggests that the robin is small and vulnerable, but also resourceful and determined.

Overall, The Veins of other Flowers is a beautiful and thought-provoking poem that explores the interconnectedness of all living things. Dickinson's use of metaphor and imagery creates a vivid picture of the natural world, and her exploration of stillness and busyness is both insightful and inspiring. This poem is a true masterpiece of poetry, and a testament to Dickinson's skill as a writer.

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