'Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered' by Emily Dickinson

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Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered
Every time-for Two-
So that the Sum be never hindered
Through Decay of You-Say if I erred? Accuse my Farthings-
Blame the little Hand
Happy it be for You-a Beggar's-
Seeking More-to spend-Just to be Rich-to waste my Guineas
On so Best a Heart-
Just to be Poor-for Barefoot Vision
You-Sweet-Shut me out-

Editor 1 Interpretation

"Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered": A Deep Dive into Emily Dickinson's Poetry

Emily Dickinson is a poet whose work is filled with mystery and depth. Her poems often explore themes such as love, death, and nature, and she is known for her unique use of language and imagery. One of her most intriguing works is "Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered," a poem that delves into the complexities of love and memory. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the various layers of meaning in this poem and examine how Dickinson uses poetic devices to convey her message.

Context and Structure

Before we delve into the interpretation of the poem, it is important to consider the context in which it was written. Emily Dickinson wrote this poem in the mid-19th century, a time when women were not encouraged to express themselves creatively. Dickinson was a rebellious figure, and her poems often challenged the conventions of her time. "Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered" was written in the form of a letter, which was a common format for Dickinson's poems. The poem consists of three stanzas, each with four lines, and follows an ABAB rhyme scheme. The structure of the poem is simple, but its content is anything but.


The title of the poem, "Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered," immediately sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The word "sweet" suggests a fondness or affection for the person being addressed, while the phrase "you forgot" implies a sense of betrayal or neglect. The speaker then asserts that they have remembered something that the other person has forgotten, creating a sense of superiority. This theme of memory and forgetting is central to the poem, as we will see.

In the first stanza, the speaker describes how they "gathered a few" of something and saved it "just for you." The speaker then reveals that the other person forgot about this gesture, saying "you dropped it-she picked it up." The image of dropping and picking up creates a sense of carelessness on the part of the other person, while the speaker's actions are characterized as careful and deliberate. The use of the third-person pronoun "she" to refer to the person who picked up the object suggests that the speaker is trying to distance themselves from the other person.

The second stanza continues this theme of memory and forgetting, with the speaker saying "I kept it-safely." The speaker then describes how they "hid it-remembered it too." The repetition of the word "remembered" emphasizes the importance of memory in the poem. The speaker is determined to hold onto this memory, even if the other person has forgotten about it. The final line of the stanza, "never breathed it-you forsaken," suggests that the speaker feels hurt and abandoned by the other person's forgetfulness.

In the final stanza, the speaker addresses the other person directly, saying "sweet, if you forgot/ All, all, I have kept for you." The repetition of the word "all" emphasizes the extent of the speaker's devotion to the other person. The final line, "Will you remember-me?" is a poignant plea for recognition and remembrance. The poem ends on a hopeful note, as the speaker hopes that the other person will remember them and the love that they have shared.

Poetic Devices

In addition to its themes and content, "Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered" is notable for its use of poetic devices. One of the most striking features of the poem is its use of repetition. The repetition of words such as "remembered" and "all" creates a sense of urgency and emphasizes the importance of memory in the poem. The ABAB rhyme scheme also contributes to the poem's musicality and rhythmic flow.

Another key poetic device in the poem is imagery. The image of dropping and picking up is particularly powerful, as it creates a sense of carelessness and neglect on the part of the other person. The image of hiding something also adds to the sense of secrecy and devotion in the poem. Dickinson's use of imagery is subtle yet effective, contributing to the poem's overall tone and meaning.


"Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered" is a poem that explores the complexities of memory and love. The poem's structure, imagery, and use of repetition all contribute to its meaning and impact. Through this poem, Emily Dickinson challenges conventional notions of love and relationships, asserting her own unique vision and voice. As readers, we are left with a sense of longing and hope, as we hope that the speaker's plea for remembrance will be answered. This poem is a testament to the power of poetry to convey deep emotions and complex ideas, and to the enduring relevance of Emily Dickinson's work.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets of all time, and her poem "Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered" is a classic example of her unique style and poetic genius. This poem is a beautiful and poignant exploration of love, memory, and the power of the human heart.

At its core, "Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered" is a love poem. It tells the story of a lover who has been forgotten by their beloved, but who still holds onto the memory of their love. The poem is written in Dickinson's signature style, with short lines and sparse language that convey a great deal of emotion and meaning.

The poem begins with the speaker addressing their beloved, saying "Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered." This opening line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as the speaker acknowledges that their love has been forgotten, but also asserts that they have not forgotten it. This contrast between forgetting and remembering is a central theme of the poem, and it is explored in depth throughout.

The second stanza of the poem continues this exploration of memory, as the speaker describes the things that they remember about their love. They remember the "smile you could not see," the "words you did not say," and the "love that dared not speak its name." These lines are powerful and evocative, as they suggest that the speaker's love was hidden or unspoken, but still deeply felt.

The third stanza of the poem shifts focus slightly, as the speaker describes the pain that they feel at being forgotten. They say that their heart is "aching yet," and that they are "lonely still." These lines are particularly poignant, as they suggest that the speaker's love is still alive and well, even though it has been forgotten by their beloved.

The fourth stanza of the poem returns to the theme of memory, as the speaker describes the things that they have forgotten. They say that they have forgotten "the way you looked," and "the way you walked." These lines are interesting, as they suggest that the speaker's memory is selective, and that they have chosen to remember certain things about their love while forgetting others.

The fifth and final stanza of the poem is perhaps the most powerful, as the speaker asserts that their love will never die. They say that "love will remember you," and that even though their beloved has forgotten them, they will always be remembered by love. This final line is a beautiful and hopeful conclusion to the poem, as it suggests that even though the speaker's love has been forgotten by their beloved, it will always be remembered by something greater and more enduring.

Overall, "Sweet-You forgot-but I remembered" is a beautiful and moving poem that explores the themes of love, memory, and the human heart. It is a testament to Emily Dickinson's poetic genius, and it continues to resonate with readers today. Whether you are a lover of poetry or simply someone who appreciates beautiful writing, this poem is sure to touch your heart and leave a lasting impression.

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