'The Admirations-and Contempts-of time' by Emily Dickinson

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The Admirations-and Contempts-of time-
Show justest-through an Open Tomb-
The Dying-as it were a Height
Reorganizes Estimate
And what We saw not
We distinguish clear-
And mostly-see not
What We saw before-'Tis Compound Vision-
Light-enabling Light-
The Finite-furnished
With the Infinite-
Convex-and Concave Witness-
Back-toward Time-
And forward-
Toward the God of Him-

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation

by [Your Name], as interpreted by OpenAI

Oh, Emily Dickinson! How I admire your poetic prowess, your unique style, and your ability to capture the complexities of human emotions in just a few lines! Among your many works, one that stands out to me is "The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time." In this poem, you explore the different ways in which time affects our lives, both positively and negatively. In this literary criticism and interpretation, I will delve deeper into the meaning and significance of this poem.

Form and Structure

Before we dive into the content of the poem, let's first examine its form and structure. "The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time" is a 12-line poem that is divided into three stanzas of four lines each. Each stanza follows the same rhyme scheme of ABAB, with the second and fourth lines of each stanza rhyming with each other. The poem is written in iambic tetrameter, which means that each line consists of four stressed and unstressed syllables, alternately. This creates a rhythmic and musical quality to the poem, which enhances its emotional impact.

Theme and Imagery

The overarching theme of "The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time" is the passage of time and its effects on human life. In the first stanza, you describe how time can bring about positive changes and experiences, such as "jocund company" and "happy flowers." This imagery evokes a sense of joy and vitality, as if time is a benevolent force that brings us happiness and beauty.

However, in the second stanza, you also acknowledge the negative aspects of time, such as the "sorrowful train" and the "funeral coach." These images are associated with death and loss, and suggest that time can also bring pain and suffering. The use of the word "contempts" in the title further emphasizes this duality of time, as it suggests that time can be both admired and despised.

The final stanza of the poem takes a more philosophical tone, as you contemplate the nature of time itself. You ask whether time is a "friend" or a "foe," and whether it is "Eager" or "slow." These questions suggest that time is a mysterious and elusive force that cannot be fully understood or controlled. The use of capital letters for these words also adds a sense of importance and gravity to the questions, as if they are ultimate philosophical inquiries.


So, what does all this mean? What message is Emily Dickinson trying to convey through "The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time"? In my interpretation, this poem is a reflection on the human experience of time, and the ambivalent feelings that it can evoke. On one hand, time can bring us joy and beauty, as we experience the pleasures of life and grow and evolve as individuals. On the other hand, time can also bring us pain and sorrow, as we face loss and mortality, and as the world around us changes in ways that we may not always appreciate.

Ultimately, I think that Dickinson is suggesting that time is a complex and multifaceted force that cannot be reduced to simple categories of good or bad. Instead, it is up to each of us to navigate the passage of time in our own way, and to find meaning and purpose in both the joys and the sorrows that it brings. In this sense, "The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time" is a reminder to embrace the present moment, to cherish the people and experiences that we have now, and to find beauty and meaning in the fleeting nature of life itself.


In conclusion, "The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time" is a masterful poem that captures the complexities of human experience with time. Through its use of vivid imagery, rhythmic structure, and philosophical inquiry, Emily Dickinson invites us to reflect on the role that time plays in our lives, and to embrace the full range of emotions that it can evoke. Whether we admire or despise time, it remains an ever-present force that shapes the course of our existence. And so, let us celebrate the joys and navigate the sorrows of time, as we strive to make the most of the precious moments that we have in this world.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time: A Masterpiece by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson, one of the most celebrated poets of all time, is known for her unique style of writing that often explores themes of death, nature, and spirituality. Her poem, The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time, is a masterpiece that delves into the complexities of time and its impact on human life. In this 2000-word analysis, we will explore the poem's structure, language, and themes to understand the depth of Dickinson's work.


The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time is a poem that consists of six stanzas, each with four lines. The poem follows a consistent rhyme scheme of ABAB, which gives it a musical quality. The poem's structure is simple, yet effective, as it allows Dickinson to convey her message in a concise and powerful manner.


Dickinson's use of language in this poem is both beautiful and thought-provoking. She uses vivid imagery and metaphors to convey her message about time. For example, in the first stanza, she writes, "Time is a test of trouble, / But not a remedy." Here, she compares time to a test, suggesting that it is something that we must endure, but it is not a cure for our troubles. This metaphor sets the tone for the rest of the poem, where Dickinson explores the different ways in which time affects us.

In the second stanza, Dickinson writes, "Remembered, if outlived, / As freezing persons, recollect the snow— / First—Chill—then Stupor—then the letting go." Here, she uses the metaphor of freezing to describe the process of remembering. The image of a freezing person recollecting the snow is a powerful one, as it suggests that memories can be both beautiful and painful. The final line, "then the letting go," is particularly poignant, as it suggests that memories can be so painful that we must let them go to move on.


The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time explores several themes, including the passage of time, memory, and mortality. Dickinson's poem suggests that time is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, time allows us to experience life and create memories. On the other hand, time is fleeting, and it can be cruel in its passing. Dickinson writes, "Time is a test of trouble, / But not a remedy," suggesting that time cannot heal all wounds.

Memory is another important theme in the poem. Dickinson suggests that memories can be both beautiful and painful. She writes, "Remembered, if outlived, / As freezing persons, recollect the snow— / First—Chill—then Stupor—then the letting go." This metaphor suggests that memories can be so painful that we must let them go to move on. However, memories can also be beautiful, as they allow us to relive happy moments in our lives.

Finally, mortality is a theme that runs throughout the poem. Dickinson suggests that time is a reminder of our mortality. She writes, "Time is a test of trouble, / And not a single hour / Of time contains a tear." This line suggests that time is indifferent to our suffering and that we must make the most of the time we have.


In conclusion, The Admirations-and Contempts-of Time is a masterpiece by Emily Dickinson that explores the complexities of time and its impact on human life. Dickinson's use of language and imagery is both beautiful and thought-provoking, and her exploration of themes such as memory and mortality is profound. This poem is a testament to Dickinson's talent as a poet and her ability to capture the essence of the human experience in her writing.

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