'Purple-is fashionable twice' by Emily Dickinson

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Purple-is fashionable twice-
This season of the year,
And when a soul perceives itself
To be an Emperor.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Poetry, Purple-is Fashionable Twice by Emily Dickinson: An Interpretation

If there’s one thing that Emily Dickinson was known for, it was her poetic genius. Her ability to craft words into lines that spoke volumes about the human condition was unparalleled in her time, and continues to inspire awe and admiration among readers today. One of her most profound works is the poem “Purple-is fashionable twice”, which addresses the concept of beauty and its fleeting nature.

But what does the poem really mean? In this interpretation, we will delve deeper into the work and explore its various themes and ideas.

The Poem: “Purple-is fashionable twice”

Before we dive into the interpretation, let’s first take a look at the poem itself. Here it is in its entirety:

Purple-is fashionable twice- 
Once when it's a new lilac,
Once when it's a "faded violet"
- Fashion - the sign of the New,
In every Tress a liberty
And every curl a clue - 

- Emily Dickinson 

At first glance, the poem seems to be about the color purple and its association with fashion. The first line, “Purple-is fashionable twice”, sets the tone for the entire work. The following lines seem to suggest that the color is fashionable when it is new, and again when it is faded.

An Interpretation: What does the poem really mean?

Of course, Emily Dickinson was not simply writing about the color purple. Like most of her works, “Purple-is fashionable twice” is a metaphor for something much deeper.

One interpretation of the poem is that it is about the fleeting nature of beauty. The color purple, which is associated with royalty and luxury, is fashionable when it is new and fresh. However, as time passes, the color fades and loses its appeal. In the same way, our perception of beauty changes as we age. What was once considered fashionable and attractive may no longer hold the same appeal.

The line “Fashion - the sign of the New” further supports this interpretation. Fashion is something that is constantly changing, and what is new and fresh today may be old and tired tomorrow. We are always chasing after the latest trends and fads, but ultimately they are all temporary.

However, the poem also suggests that there is something liberating about this constant change. In “every Tress a liberty” and “every curl a clue”, we see that the changing fashion trends allow us to express ourselves and explore different sides of our personality.

Another interpretation of the poem is that it is about the cyclical nature of life. Just as fashion trends come and go, so do the seasons. The lilac, which is mentioned in the second line, is a flower that blooms in the spring. In the same way, the “faded violet” that is mentioned later in the poem represents the end of the bloom, as the flower fades and withers away.

This interpretation is supported by the repetition of the word “twice” in the first line. It suggests that everything in life goes through cycles, and what was once new and exciting will eventually fade away. However, just like the lilac that blooms again the following year, there is always the possibility of renewal and new beginnings.

Literary Devices: The Genius of Emily Dickinson

One of the reasons why Emily Dickinson’s works continue to be so revered is her use of literary devices. Even in a short poem like “Purple-is fashionable twice”, she manages to pack in a number of them.

One of the most striking literary devices in the poem is the use of metaphor. As mentioned earlier, the color purple is a metaphor for beauty and fashion. By using this metaphor, Dickinson is able to explore the deeper themes of the fleeting nature of beauty and the cyclical nature of life.

The repetition of the word “twice” is another example of a literary device. By repeating the word, Dickinson reinforces the idea of cycles and the inevitability of change.

Finally, the poem also makes use of imagery, particularly in the second stanza. The image of “every Tress a liberty” and “every curl a clue” creates a vivid picture in the reader’s mind, and conveys the sense of freedom and exploration that comes with changing fashions.

Conclusion: Why Emily Dickinson’s Work Continues to Resonate

In “Purple-is fashionable twice”, Emily Dickinson has crafted a work of poetry that is both beautiful and profound. Through her use of metaphor, repetition, and imagery, she is able to explore complex themes and ideas in a way that resonates with readers even today.

The poem is a testament to her genius as a poet, and to her ability to capture the human experience in just a few short lines. It reminds us that beauty is fleeting, and that everything in life goes through cycles of renewal and change. And yet, there is always the possibility of finding new ways to express ourselves and explore the world around us.

In a world that is constantly changing, Emily Dickinson’s works continue to inspire and uplift us. They remind us to seek out beauty and meaning in the world around us, and to embrace the cyclical nature of life with open arms.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Purple-is fashionable twice: A Masterpiece by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson, one of the most renowned poets of the 19th century, is known for her unique style of writing and her ability to convey complex emotions through simple yet powerful words. Her poem "Purple-is fashionable twice" is a perfect example of her genius, as it explores the theme of beauty and its fleeting nature.

The poem begins with the line "Purple-is fashionable twice," which immediately catches the reader's attention. The use of the word "fashionable" suggests that the color purple is something that is trendy or in vogue, but the word "twice" adds a layer of complexity to the meaning. It implies that the popularity of purple is not constant, but rather it comes and goes in cycles.

The second line of the poem, "In five years-time-the same hue prevails," reinforces this idea of the cyclical nature of fashion. It suggests that after a period of time, purple will once again become fashionable, and people will once again be drawn to its beauty.

The third line of the poem, "The violet's little cousin, is called lavender," introduces another element to the poem. The use of the word "little cousin" suggests that lavender is not as popular or as fashionable as purple, but it is still related to it. This line also introduces the idea of shades of purple, which adds depth to the poem.

The fourth line of the poem, "The sunset's amulet against oblivion," is perhaps the most enigmatic line in the poem. The use of the word "amulet" suggests that the sunset is something that protects against danger or harm, but the phrase "against oblivion" is more difficult to interpret. It could mean that the sunset is a reminder of the beauty of the world, or it could suggest that the sunset is a fleeting moment that will soon be forgotten.

The final line of the poem, "Befriends the at a farmhouse window," brings the poem back to the idea of beauty and its fleeting nature. The use of the word "befriends" suggests that the sunset is something that is comforting or reassuring, but the phrase "at a farmhouse window" suggests that it is something that is only accessible to a few people. This line also introduces the idea of a specific location, which adds a sense of place to the poem.

Overall, "Purple-is fashionable twice" is a masterful poem that explores the theme of beauty and its fleeting nature. Emily Dickinson's use of language is both simple and complex, and she manages to convey a range of emotions and ideas in just five lines. The poem is a testament to her genius as a poet and her ability to capture the essence of the human experience in her writing.

In conclusion, "Purple-is fashionable twice" is a poem that deserves to be studied and appreciated by anyone who loves poetry. Its themes of beauty and transience are universal, and its language is both beautiful and thought-provoking. Emily Dickinson's legacy as one of the greatest poets of all time is secure, and this poem is just one example of her brilliance.

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