'Each Scar I'll keep for Him' by Emily Dickinson

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Each Scar I'll keep for Him
Instead I'll say of Gem
In His long Absence worn
A Costlier oneBut every Tear I bore
Were He to count them o'er
His own would fall so more
I'll mis sum them.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Each Scar I'll keep for Him: A Reflection of Love and Loss

Emily Dickinson's poetry is known for its depth and complexity, and "Each Scar I'll keep for Him" is no exception. In this poem, Dickinson explores the theme of love and loss through the metaphor of scars. The poem is a powerful representation of the pain and beauty of love, and it reveals the depth of Dickinson's own emotions and experiences.

The poem begins with the line, "Each scar I'll keep for him." This opening line immediately sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as it suggests that the speaker has experienced some sort of physical or emotional trauma. The use of the word "scar" implies that this trauma is not something that can easily be healed or forgotten, but rather is a permanent mark that will always be with the speaker.

As the poem continues, the speaker describes the scars as "souvenirs of where / That love was thickest sown." This line is significant because it suggests that the scars are not just reminders of pain and loss, but also of love and connection. The use of the word "souvenirs" reinforces this idea, as it implies that the scars are treasured keepsakes that the speaker cherishes.

The next line, "And where that love hath lain / Their lordship shall remain," further develops this idea by emphasizing the enduring power of love. Despite the pain and loss that the speaker has experienced, the love that she shared with her beloved still holds sway over her heart and soul. The use of the word "lordship" suggests that the speaker has surrendered herself to the power of this love, and that she is content to be ruled by it.

The poem then takes a turn, as the speaker begins to describe the scars themselves. She says that they are "Scytheless as the scar / That rides upon the plow." This comparison is significant because it suggests that the scars are not just marks of pain and loss, but also symbols of growth and transformation. The plow is an instrument of cultivation, and the scars that it leaves behind are a sign that the land has been worked and improved. In the same way, the scars on the speaker's body and soul are a sign that she has experienced growth and transformation through her pain and loss.

The final lines of the poem are some of the most powerful and evocative. The speaker says that the scars are "Inscribed upon my heart, / And plead me to forget." This paradoxical statement captures the complexity of the speaker's emotions and experiences. On the one hand, the scars are a permanent reminder of the pain and loss that she has suffered. On the other hand, they are also a plea for her to move on and let go of the past.

The use of the word "inscribed" is significant because it suggests that the scars are not just marks on the surface, but rather are deeply embedded in the speaker's heart and soul. The scars have become a part of her identity, and they shape the way that she sees herself and the world around her.

In conclusion, "Each Scar I'll keep for Him" is a powerful and evocative poem that captures the pain and beauty of love and loss. Through the metaphor of scars, Emily Dickinson explores the depth of human emotion and the enduring power of love. The poem is a testament to Dickinson's skill as a poet, and it stands as a powerful reflection of the human experience.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Each Scar I'll Keep for Him: An Analysis of Emily Dickinson's Masterpiece

Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets of all time, and her works continue to inspire and captivate readers to this day. Among her many masterpieces is the poem "Each Scar I'll Keep for Him," a powerful and moving piece that explores the themes of love, loss, and memory.

At its core, "Each Scar I'll Keep for Him" is a poem about the enduring power of love. The speaker of the poem is deeply in love with someone who has left her, and she is left with nothing but memories of their time together. However, rather than dwelling on the pain of their separation, the speaker chooses to focus on the positive memories they shared, and the scars that they left on each other.

The poem begins with the lines "Each scar I'll keep for him / Instead I'll say of Gem / Inscription of the former / So newer if it seem." Here, the speaker is saying that she will keep every scar that her lover has left on her, both physical and emotional. She sees these scars as a testament to their love, and as a way to remember the time they spent together. The reference to "Gem" is likely a reference to her lover, who she sees as a precious gem that she will always cherish.

The next stanza of the poem continues this theme, with the lines "Worn without disgrace of love / As old as hateless youth / As scarce as is the morning / As soon to be as truth." Here, the speaker is saying that the scars she bears are not a source of shame or embarrassment, but rather a badge of honor that she wears proudly. She sees them as a sign of the love she shared with her lover, and as a reminder of the passion and intensity of their relationship.

The third stanza of the poem takes a slightly different turn, with the lines "To own a former tear / Would desolate denote / But I attest to thee / That never once did I." Here, the speaker is saying that while she is willing to keep the scars that her lover has left on her, she is not willing to keep any tears that she shed over their separation. She sees tears as a sign of weakness, and she wants to show her lover that she is strong and resilient in the face of their separation.

The final stanza of the poem brings everything together, with the lines "And on his native shore / A flower upon a tomb / A blossom at his door / To remind him where he's from." Here, the speaker is saying that she will always be there for her lover, even if they are separated by distance or time. She sees herself as a flower that will bloom wherever her lover goes, reminding him of their time together and the love they shared.

Overall, "Each Scar I'll Keep for Him" is a powerful and moving poem that speaks to the enduring power of love. It shows us that even in the face of loss and separation, love can still endure, and that the memories we share with those we love can stay with us forever. Emily Dickinson's masterful use of language and imagery makes this poem a true masterpiece, and it continues to inspire and move readers to this day.

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