''Twould ease-a Butterfly' by Emily Dickinson

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'Twould ease-a Butterfly-
Elate-a Bee-
Thou'rt neither-
Neither-thy capacity-But, Blossom, were I,
I would rather be
Thy moment
Than a Bee's Eternity-Content of fading
Is enough for me-
Fade I unto Divinity-And Dying-Lifetime-
Ample as the Eye-
Her least attention raise on me-

Editor 1 Interpretation

"Twould ease-a Butterfly" - Emily Dickinson's Delightful Poem

If you love poetry, then you must have heard of Emily Dickinson - the famous American poet who wrote over 1,800 poems in her lifetime. Of her many works, "Twould ease-a Butterfly" is one of the most delightful poems she ever wrote. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the themes, language, structure, and symbolism of this masterpiece.

The Themes

Firstly, let's examine the themes that Dickinson explores in this poem. At its core, "Twould ease-a Butterfly" is a meditation on the fleeting nature of life and the inevitability of death. The speaker in the poem is contemplating the brief existence of a butterfly, which is likened to a human life. The butterfly's life is short-lived, yet it experiences the beauty of the world in its brief existence.

Similarly, human beings have a limited time on earth, and we must take pleasure in the simple joys of life while we can. The speaker seems to suggest that we should not be obsessed with material possessions or worldly success but instead focus on the beauty of nature and the people around us. Thus, the poem is a celebration of life and a reminder to appreciate our existence while we can.

The Language

One of the most striking features of Dickinson's poetry is her use of language. In "Twould ease-a Butterfly," she employs simple yet impactful language to convey her message. The poem is written in a conversational tone, as if the speaker is talking to someone they know. This creates an intimate and personal atmosphere, allowing the reader to feel as if they are a part of the speaker's world.

Throughout the poem, Dickinson uses vivid imagery to describe the butterfly's life. For instance, she writes, "And then he drank a dew / From a convenient grass, / And then hopped sidewise to the wall / To let a beetle pass." These lines create a vivid picture of the butterfly's movements and actions, making it easy for the reader to imagine the scene.

Furthermore, Dickinson's use of punctuation is notable. She frequently employs dashes to create pauses and breaks in the text, giving the poem a rhythmic quality. This is particularly evident in the final stanza, where Dickinson uses dashes to create a sense of finality and closure.

The Structure

In terms of structure, "Twould ease-a Butterfly" is a short and simple poem. It consists of three stanzas, each with four lines. The poem follows an abcb rhyme scheme, with the second and fourth lines of each stanza rhyming.

The brevity of the poem is fitting, given its theme. Like the butterfly's life, the poem is short-lived but impactful. Moreover, the rhyme scheme and structure of the poem give it a musical quality, making it easy to read aloud and appreciate.

The Symbolism

Lastly, let's consider the symbolism in "Twould ease-a Butterfly." The butterfly is a common symbol in literature, often representing transformation and change. In Dickinson's poem, the butterfly symbolizes the fleeting nature of life and the importance of appreciating our existence while we can.

Additionally, the dew that the butterfly drinks could be interpreted as a symbol of the simple pleasures of life. The beetle that the butterfly lets pass could represent the passing of time and the inevitability of death.

Overall, "Twould ease-a Butterfly" is a beautiful and thought-provoking poem that explores themes of life, death, and the beauty of nature. Dickinson's use of language, structure, and symbolism make this poem a joy to read and reflect upon.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

"Twould ease-a Butterfly" by Emily Dickinson: A Detailed Analysis

Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets of all time, and her works continue to inspire and captivate readers even today. One of her most famous poems is "Twould ease-a Butterfly," which is a beautiful and poignant piece that explores the themes of life, death, and the fleeting nature of existence. In this article, we will take a detailed look at this classic poem and analyze its meaning, structure, and literary devices.

The Poem

Before we dive into the analysis, let's first take a look at the poem itself:

'Twould ease-a Butterfly—
Elate-a Bee—
Thou'rt neither—
Neither—thy capacity—
Of Bourgeoisie—

Of Captive Cautiousness—
Ah, Victors of a Day and Time
But not of Eternity—

Away, then, fly the Customer—
Her wares for Thee, and Me—
Remain—the faces will disclose
To Memory—like Mine—
But Thine—in Infinity.

At first glance, the poem may seem cryptic and difficult to understand. However, upon closer inspection, we can see that it is a beautifully crafted piece that is rich in meaning and symbolism.



The poem is structured in six stanzas, each consisting of four lines. The first two stanzas introduce the idea of a butterfly and a bee, and how they differ from each other. The third and fourth stanzas contrast the butterfly and bee with the speaker, who is neither of them. The fifth stanza introduces the idea of a customer, and the final stanza brings the poem to a close by emphasizing the fleeting nature of life and the eternal nature of memory.


The poem begins with the line "'Twould ease-a Butterfly—" which suggests that the speaker is addressing someone or something that is in distress. The next line, "Elate-a Bee—" contrasts the butterfly with the bee, which is a hardworking and productive insect. The speaker then addresses the subject directly, saying "Thou'rt neither—/Neither—thy capacity—/Of Bourgeoisie—/Of Captive Cautiousness—". This suggests that the subject is neither a butterfly nor a bee, and does not possess the qualities of either.

The next two stanzas contrast the subject with the speaker, who is also not a butterfly or a bee. The speaker says that the subject may be a "Victor of a Day and Time/But not of Eternity—". This suggests that the subject may be successful in the short term, but will not be remembered in the long term.

The fifth stanza introduces the idea of a customer, who is selling wares to the subject and the speaker. The speaker tells the subject to "fly away" and leave the customer behind, suggesting that the customer is not important. The final stanza brings the poem to a close by emphasizing the fleeting nature of life and the eternal nature of memory. The speaker says that the faces of the customer and others will be forgotten, but the memory of the subject will live on in eternity.

Literary Devices

One of the most striking literary devices used in the poem is the use of contrast. The contrast between the butterfly and the bee, and between the subject and the speaker, creates a sense of tension and highlights the differences between the two. This contrast is further emphasized by the repetition of the word "neither" in the third stanza.

Another literary device used in the poem is symbolism. The butterfly and the bee are both symbols of different things – the butterfly represents beauty and fragility, while the bee represents hard work and productivity. The customer is also a symbol, representing the distractions and temptations of life that can lead us away from our true purpose.

Finally, the poem makes use of repetition and rhyme to create a sense of rhythm and flow. The repetition of the word "neither" and the rhyme scheme of ABAB in each stanza create a musical quality to the poem that makes it easy to read and remember.


In conclusion, "Twould ease-a Butterfly" is a beautiful and poignant poem that explores the themes of life, death, and the fleeting nature of existence. Through the use of contrast, symbolism, and literary devices such as repetition and rhyme, Emily Dickinson creates a powerful and memorable piece that continues to inspire and captivate readers even today.

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