There are very few poets who cover a wide variety of topics in their poems. Emily Dickinson falls in the group of those poets who like to write on different topics; however, analysis of her poem “Wild Nights Wild Nights” reveals subjectivity as another major characteristic of her poetry. Certain poems of Emily Dickinson are individualistic but most of her poems are universal in nature and depict general themes.
She has also written poems on the theme of death. Some of her best poems, for example, “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died” and “Because I could not Stop for Death” share some common attributes; these poems show the powerful imagination of the poet and her skill of creating a poem from nightmares. In another poem “Hope is the thing with Feathers”, she portrays entirely opposite themes, hence, critics have rightly said that she has a long list of themes to write poetry about.
Almost all poems of Emily Dickinson are based on ambiguous themes. In this poem too, ambiguity is a major theme. This poem is very short and consists only of three stanzas; however, she followed the convention of writing a four line stanza. She uses dashes in this poem too, but they are rare. She also capitalizes the initial letter of some words to show their significance. The poem was written in 1891. She does not give any title to her poems; therefore, the first line of the poem has been considered its title. The poem is highly personal and shows the personality of the poet. All three stanzas contain stunning imagery, which is highly superficial.
The poet starts the poem while repeating words; a technique which in poetry is called alliteration. Love life of the poet was not so successful. She has suffered a lot. In fact, she rejected the idea of love. In her whole life, the poet considered love no more than a sexual satisfaction. From this stanza of the poem, readers realize her sexual passionate desires. Publisher of the poem created an analysis of “Wild Nights Wild Nights” and he was very much worried due to the symbolic description of the intense images that the poet uses in this poem.
First line of the poem in which the poet writes “wild nights” twice is not self explanatory. It has symbolic meanings which need elucidation. The poet does not talk about the nights but about the pleasure of sexual intercourse at night. She uses a symbol to illustrate her sexual pleasure that she obtains after wild intercourse at night. She recalls those wild nights. The poem seems to be a letter that the poet has sent to her beloved. It is, therefore, she uses the word thee in the second line of the poem to directly address him. Nonetheless, in the whole poem, readers do not realize who the poet talks about.
In the first stanza of the poem, there is development in thought and the imagination of the poet. Third line of “Wild Nights Wild Nights” shows that the poet remembers her beloved and creates an analysis of the nights that she has spent with him. It is apparent that the nights about which the poet talks were not ordinary ones, hence, she calls those nights luxurious. Last line of the poem reveals her wish. She wishes for more such nights, in which she may spend time with her beloved. Themes of the poem from these lines thus seem sex and nostalgia. In short, first stanza of the poem is an expression of intense sexual feelings of the poet.
Feelings of happiness are always dependent on the mind. It is more about positive thinking than about getting everything a person wishes for. Second stanza of the poem is an illustration of the poet’s mind. She seems happy and confident; so confident that she challenges the awful worries of life. She compares herself to a boat that is presently at a port. She uses a metaphor here. Poems of Emily Dickinson also shows insecurity as one of the major themes of her poetry but in this poem she feels herself secure. She is of the view that the winds do not need to do any effort as their efforts would go fruitless.
Wind plays an important role when a ship or boat sails. The poet creates a link between the two (boat and wind); she choses exact words to describe her situation. She says that wind may affect a boat or ship when it sails but it has no impact on the boat that stands at a port and is done with “the Compass” and “Chart”. Her heart is full of her beloved’s love and no force in this world can create a hurdle for her.
If we make analysis of this stanza as a continuation of the previous one, then we must remember that the poet specifically talks about those “Wild Nights” that she spent with her beloved. After those nights, she seems very confident about her relationship with her beloved or perhaps she laments that those beautiful days would never come back. Nevertheless, more are the chances that she does not lament on those days in this particular situation rather she is confident about her future relations.
In the second stanza of the poem, the poet seemed very much confident. Her confidence continues in this stanza too. She was at the port in the last stanza whereas in this stanza, she imagines herself rowing in the sea of paradise. As she uses the word “Rowing” in this stanza, therefore, it is definite that she imagined herself a sailor in the previous stanza too and not the boat or ship. Poetic analysis of the last stanza of “Wild Nights Wild Nights” reveals that she makes usage of poetic device allusion in it; she refers to Eden (paradise) that has been used in the Bible.
Some critics are of the view that the last stanza of the poem is entirely paradoxical; firstly, the poet compares herself with Eve and her beloved with Adam; secondly, she uses the word “ah” in the second line of this stanza, which is for sadness. Perhaps, she imagines herself with her beloved, who in real life is not with the poet; therefore, she let out a long sigh of despair. The poem is based on the imagination of the poet, hence, there is ambiguity in it too like other poems of Emily Dickinson.
Analysis of last two words of “Wild Nights, Wild Nights” shows that they are highly seductive. The poet ends the poem while mingling herself with her beloved. She wants more of those nights about which she has talked about in the whole poem. On the other hand, a group of critics is of the opinion that in the last stanza of the poem, the poet diverts her affection towards God. As there is also the possibility that she laments on the nights that she has spent, hence, she no longer talks about worldly love. In the final lines of the poem she may have realized the importance of love with God.
On the contrary, other critics are of the view that she uses a clear sexual image in last line of the poem, therefore, the poet wishes for more such like nights with her beloved.
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