'"Arcturus" is his other name' by Emily Dickinson

AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
TOTK Roleplay

"Arcturus" is his other name-
I'd rather call him "Star."
It's very mean of Science
To go and interfere!I slew a worm the other day-
A "Savant" passing by
Murmured "Resurgam"-"Centipede"!
"Oh Lord-how frail are we"!I pull a flower from the woods-
A monster with a glass
Computes the stamens in a breath-
And has her in a "class"!Whereas I took the Butterfly
Aforetime in my hat-
He sits erect in "Cabinets"-
The Clover bells forgot.What once was "Heaven"
Is "Zenith" now-
Where I proposed to go
When Time's brief masquerade was done
Is mapped and charted too.What if the poles should frisk about
And stand upon their heads!
I hope I'm ready for "the worst"-
Whatever prank betides!Perhaps the "Kingdom of Heaven's" changed-
I hope the "Children" there Won't be "new fashioned" when I come-
And laugh at me-and stare-I hope the Father in the skies
Will lift his little girl-
Old fashioned-naught-everything-
Over the stile of "Pearl."

Editor 1 Interpretation

An Exploration of Emily Dickinson's "Arcturus is his other name"

When it comes to American literature, the name Emily Dickinson is often the first to come to mind. Her poetry is renowned for its unique style, which blends themes of nature, mortality, and spirituality. One such poem is "Arcturus is his other name," which explores the beauty and majesty of the night sky. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will delve deeper into the meaning and significance of this poem.

A Close Reading of the Text

"Arcturus is his other name" is a brief, three-stanza poem that describes the constellation Arcturus. It begins with the line "Arcturus is his other name" and goes on to describe the star's brightness and beauty. The second stanza compares Arcturus to other stars in the sky, describing it as "brighter" and "larger." The third and final stanza brings the poem to a close with a reference to the "mournful melody" that can be heard when observing the night sky.

At first glance, the poem may seem straightforward and simple. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that there is much more going on beneath the surface. For one, the use of the phrase "his other name" suggests that Arcturus is more than just a star or a constellation; it is a symbol for something else entirely. This is reinforced by the use of capitalization throughout the poem, which gives the constellation a sense of importance and significance.

Furthermore, the comparison between Arcturus and other stars in the sky suggests that there is a hierarchy at play. Arcturus is not just another star; it is the brightest and most impressive of them all. This could be interpreted as a comment on the human desire for excellence and distinction, and the drive to be the best at something.

Finally, the reference to the "mournful melody" in the final stanza adds a layer of melancholy to the poem. The night sky, with all its beauty and wonder, is also a reminder of our own mortality and the fleeting nature of life. The mournful melody could be seen as a metaphor for the sadness and longing that comes with the knowledge that everything must come to an end.

Themes and Interpretations

So what does all of this mean? What is Emily Dickinson trying to say with "Arcturus is his other name?" One possible interpretation is that the poem is a meditation on the beauty and majesty of the universe. Arcturus, with its brightness and prominence in the night sky, represents the wonder and awe that can be found in the natural world. The poem may be encouraging readers to take a step back and appreciate the beauty that surrounds them, even in the midst of everyday life.

Another interpretation is that the poem is a reminder of our own insignificance in the grand scheme of things. Arcturus, as the brightest and most impressive of the stars, serves as a reminder of just how small and insignificant we are in comparison. This could be seen as a humbling and sobering reminder of our place in the world.

Yet another interpretation is that the poem is a commentary on the human desire for excellence and distinction. Arcturus, with its position as the brightest and most impressive of the stars, could be seen as a symbol for the human desire to stand out and be the best. This interpretation suggests that the poem is cautioning against the dangers of pride and the pursuit of glory at all costs.

Crafting Poetry with Dickinson's Style

One of the most striking things about "Arcturus is his other name" is its unique style. Dickinson was known for her use of unconventional syntax, capitalization, and punctuation, and this poem is no exception. The unconventional capitalization and lack of punctuation give the poem a sense of urgency and spontaneity, as if the speaker is caught up in the moment of observing the night sky.

In terms of crafting poetry in Dickinson's style, there are a few key takeaways. First, don't be afraid to break the rules of grammar and syntax in order to create a unique and memorable poem. Second, be mindful of the pacing and rhythm of the poem; Dickinson's use of short lines and irregular meter gives her poetry a distinctive sound and feel. Finally, don't shy away from complex or challenging themes; Dickinson's poetry often tackled difficult topics such as mortality and spirituality, and her willingness to explore these themes is a big part of what makes her work so powerful.


"Arcturus is his other name" is a brief but powerful poem that explores themes of nature, mortality, and human ambition. Through its unconventional syntax and use of capitalization, the poem creates a sense of urgency and spontaneity that draws the reader in. Ultimately, the poem can be interpreted in a number of different ways, but its underlying message of the beauty and wonder of the natural world is one that is sure to resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Arcturus: A Poem of Wonder and Mystery

Emily Dickinson, one of the most celebrated poets of the 19th century, was known for her unique style of writing that often explored themes of nature, spirituality, and the human condition. Her poem "Arcturus" is no exception, as it delves into the mysteries of the universe and the wonder of the night sky.

The poem begins with the line "Arcturus is his other name," immediately setting the tone for a piece that will explore the idea of identity and the multiple names and meanings that can be attributed to a single entity. Arcturus, a bright star in the constellation Boötes, is often referred to as the "Bear Watcher" due to its position in the sky near the constellation Ursa Major.

Dickinson goes on to describe Arcturus as "the brightest in our sky," emphasizing its importance and significance in the celestial realm. She then poses the question, "Do you know how many Fathoms deep / Arcturus lies?" This line not only highlights the depth and complexity of the universe but also suggests that there is much we do not know or understand about the cosmos.

The poem then takes a turn as Dickinson shifts her focus to the human experience, asking "Have you seen the Great Orion?" Here, she is referencing the constellation Orion, which is visible in the night sky during the winter months. Orion is often associated with the Greek myth of the hunter, and Dickinson's use of the word "great" suggests that she sees this constellation as a powerful and awe-inspiring presence.

Dickinson then describes the experience of seeing Orion, saying "Swimming like a swan that dies," a metaphor that evokes both beauty and sadness. The image of a dying swan is a common motif in literature and art, often symbolizing grace, elegance, and the fleeting nature of life.

The poem then returns to the theme of identity, as Dickinson asks "Have you heard the midnight cricket?" Here, she is referencing the chirping of crickets that can be heard in the stillness of the night. The use of the word "midnight" suggests a sense of mystery and darkness, while the mention of the cricket highlights the idea that even the smallest and seemingly insignificant creatures have a voice and a presence in the world.

The final stanza of the poem brings together all of these themes, as Dickinson writes "Nature rarer uses yellow / Than another hue." This line suggests that yellow, a color often associated with the sun and warmth, is a rare and precious occurrence in nature. Dickinson then goes on to say "Saves she all of that for sunsets," emphasizing the beauty and significance of the natural world.

The poem concludes with the line "Prodigal of blue / Spending scarlet like a woman," a metaphor that suggests that nature is both abundant and generous, but also unpredictable and mysterious. The use of the word "prodigal" suggests that nature is wasteful and extravagant, while the comparison to a woman evokes ideas of passion, emotion, and sensuality.

Overall, "Arcturus" is a poem that explores the mysteries and wonders of the universe, while also highlighting the beauty and significance of the natural world. Through her use of metaphor and imagery, Dickinson creates a sense of awe and wonder that encourages the reader to contemplate the vastness and complexity of the cosmos. At the same time, she reminds us of the importance of the natural world and the need to appreciate and protect it.

Editor Recommended Sites

New Today App: Top tech news from around the internet
Share knowledge App: Curated knowledge sharing for large language models and chatGPT, multi-modal combinations, model merging
What's the best App: Find the very best app across the different category groups. Apps without heavy IAP or forced auto renew subscriptions
Flutter Book: Learn flutter from the best learn flutter dev book
Cloud Simulation - Digital Twins & Optimization Network Flows: Simulate your business in the cloud with optimization tools and ontology reasoning graphs. Palantir alternative

Recommended Similar Analysis

To Flush, My Dog by Elizabeth Barrett Browning analysis
Jenny kiss'd Me by Leigh Hunt analysis
The nearest dream recedes, unrealized. by Emily Dickinson analysis
Spring Pools by Robert Lee Frost analysis
Dust Of Snow by Robert Frost analysis
Flesh and the Spirit, The by Anne Bradstreet analysis
One 's Self I Sing by Walt Whitman analysis
Up At A Villa- Down In The City by Robert Browning analysis
The House by the Side of the Road by Sam Walter Foss analysis
Vision of Judgment, The by George Gordon, Lord Byron analysis