'Some such Butterfly be seen' by Emily Dickinson

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Some such Butterfly be seen
On Brazilian Pampas-
Just at noon-no later-Sweet-
Then-the License closes-Some such Spice-express and pass-
Subject to Your Plucking-
As the Stars-You knew last Night-
Foreigners-This Morning-

Editor 1 Interpretation

Some such Butterfly be seen: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation


Emily Dickinson, one of the most prominent American poets of the 19th century, is known for her unique and unconventional style of writing. Her poems often explore themes of nature, death, and the human condition. "Some such Butterfly be seen" is a prime example of Dickinson's style, as it combines her love of nature with her skill in crafting metaphors and similes.

The poem itself is relatively short, with only four stanzas and sixteen lines, but its brevity does not diminish its impact. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the themes present in "Some such Butterfly be seen," analyze its structure and language, and discuss its significance in Dickinson's body of work.


At its core, "Some such Butterfly be seen" is a poem about transformation and renewal. The butterfly, a symbol of metamorphosis, is used to explore the idea of change and the cyclical nature of life. The poem's opening line sets the tone for this theme: "Some such Butterfly be seen / On Brazilian Pampas." The speaker is inviting the reader to imagine a butterfly in its natural habitat, but it quickly becomes clear that this is not just any butterfly.

Throughout the poem, the butterfly is described in vivid, almost fantastical terms. It has "wings like powder," "velvet shows," and a "freak of nature." This language creates an otherworldly atmosphere and emphasizes the butterfly's uniqueness. The speaker is not simply describing a butterfly, but rather a symbol of transformation and beauty.

The poem also touches on the theme of mortality. The butterfly's life cycle, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, is a reminder that all living things eventually die. However, the poem suggests that death is not an end, but rather a new beginning. The final line, "And then it rose / And fluttered in the breeze," implies that the butterfly has been reborn, transformed into something new and beautiful.

Structure and Language

Dickinson's use of structure and language in "Some such Butterfly be seen" is key to creating its sense of transformation and renewal. The poem is written in four quatrains, with an ABAB rhyme scheme. This structure gives the poem a sense of stability and symmetry, which contrasts with the idea of change and metamorphosis.

The language in the poem is also carefully chosen to emphasize the butterfly's transformation. The use of the word "freak" in the second stanza suggests that the butterfly is not just a typical specimen, but something special and unique. The use of simile in the third stanza, where the butterfly's wings are compared to "velvet shows," creates a sense of luxuriousness and beauty. By using these types of language, Dickinson is able to convey the idea of transformation in a way that is both vivid and poetic.


"Some such Butterfly be seen" is significant in Dickinson's body of work because it represents her unique style and themes. The poem's use of metaphor and simile is typical of Dickinson's writing, as is its exploration of themes of nature and the human condition. However, the poem also stands out for its optimism and hope. While many of Dickinson's poems are dark and contemplative, "Some such Butterfly be seen" is a celebration of life and transformation.

The poem's message of renewal is also significant in the context of Dickinson's own life. Dickinson was known for her reclusive nature and her struggles with depression. However, "Some such Butterfly be seen" suggests that even in the darkest times, there is the possibility for transformation and rebirth.


In conclusion, "Some such Butterfly be seen" is a beautiful and thought-provoking poem that explores themes of transformation and renewal. Through its use of metaphor and vivid language, the poem conveys a sense of hope and optimism that is rare in Dickinson's body of work. The poem is a testament to Dickinson's skill as a writer, and to her ability to capture the beauty and complexity of the natural world.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Some Such Butterfly be Seen: A Masterpiece of Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson, one of the most celebrated poets of all time, is known for her unique style of writing that often explores the themes of nature, death, and spirituality. Her poem "Some Such Butterfly be Seen" is a perfect example of her exceptional talent and creativity. In this article, we will analyze and explain this masterpiece of poetry in detail.

The poem "Some Such Butterfly be Seen" is a short but powerful piece that consists of only four lines. However, these four lines are enough to convey a deep and profound message that touches the heart and soul of the reader. The poem reads as follows:

Some such Butterfly be seen On Brazilian Pampas— Just at noon—no later—Sweet— Then—the License closes—

At first glance, the poem may seem simple and straightforward, but a closer look reveals the complexity and depth of its meaning. The poem is about the fleeting nature of beauty and the inevitability of death. The butterfly, a symbol of beauty and grace, is used to represent the transience of life. The poem suggests that just like the butterfly, life is short and sweet, and it must be enjoyed while it lasts.

The first line of the poem, "Some such Butterfly be seen," sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The use of the phrase "some such" suggests that the butterfly is not a specific one but rather a representation of all butterflies. This line also creates a sense of mystery and intrigue, as the reader is left wondering what kind of butterfly the poet is referring to.

The second line of the poem, "On Brazilian Pampas," provides a geographical context for the poem. The Brazilian Pampas is a vast grassland region in Brazil, known for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife. The use of this location adds to the imagery of the poem and creates a sense of exoticism.

The third line of the poem, "Just at noon—no later—Sweet—," is perhaps the most significant line of the poem. The use of the word "noon" suggests that the butterfly is at the peak of its beauty and vitality. The word "sweet" adds to the imagery of the poem and creates a sense of pleasure and enjoyment. However, the phrase "no later" suggests that this beauty is short-lived and must be enjoyed while it lasts.

The final line of the poem, "Then—the License closes—," is a powerful and poignant ending to the poem. The use of the word "license" suggests that the beauty and vitality of life are temporary and must come to an end. The word "closes" adds to the finality of the poem and creates a sense of inevitability.

Overall, "Some such Butterfly be seen" is a masterful piece of poetry that explores the themes of beauty, transience, and death. The poem is a testament to Emily Dickinson's exceptional talent and creativity, and it continues to inspire and move readers to this day.

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