She Bore it Till the Simple Veins, Emily Dickinson: Summary & Analysis

"SHE BORE IT TILL THE SIMPLE VEINS" by Emily Dickinson reflects on the transformation of a humble and patient individual into a revered and honored figure. The poem traces the journey of this person from a state of simplicity and endurance to one of recognition and eternal significance. Through vivid imagery and contrast, the poem highlights the transition from earthly life to heavenly glory and suggests the enduring impact of this individual's presence.


She bore it till the simple veins
Traced azure on her hand —
Til pleading, round her quiet eyes
The purple Crayons stand.

Till Daffodils had come and gone
I cannot tell the sum,
And then she ceased to bear it —
And with the Saints sat down.

No more her patient figure
At twilight soft to meet —
No more her timid bonnet
Upon the village street —

But Crowns instead, and Courtiers —
And in the midst so fair,
Whose but her shy — immortal face
Of whom we're whispering here?


"SHE BORE IT TILL THE SIMPLE VEINS" portrays the transformation of a patient and humble individual into a revered and celebrated figure. The poem describes how this person endured challenges and remained steadfast until their veins turned blue. Over time, they gained recognition and were surrounded by admiring courtiers. Eventually, they ceased to bear the burden and sat down among the saints. Their earthly presence faded, replaced by immortal glory. The poem invites readers to ponder the identity of this person whose legacy endures.

Critical Analysis

The poem begins by describing the individual's endurance and patience. Their veins are described as "simple," tracing the color blue, possibly indicating a sense of calm and tranquility.

The second stanza marks the passage of time, suggesting that the person's journey took place over a significant period. The mention of Daffodils coming and going evokes the changing seasons and the cycle of life.

The third stanza contrasts the person's patient figure with their new state of glory. The twilight meetings and the timid bonnet worn on the village street represent their earthly life. These familiar scenes are juxtaposed with the transformation into wearing "Crowns" and being surrounded by "Courtiers." This suggests a shift from an ordinary life to one of honor and recognition.

The poem's final lines emphasize the enduring impact of this individual. Their "shy — immortal face" is whispered about, implying that their legacy lives on even though they are no longer present in the same way.


  • Transformation: The poem explores the theme of transformation as the humble and patient individual evolves from a simple existence to one of recognition and celestial significance.
  • Mortality and Immortality: The poem contrasts the fleeting nature of earthly life with the idea of eternal existence among the saints, suggesting the transition from mortality to immortality.
  • Legacy and Remembrance: The poem implies that the individual's legacy endures, as evidenced by the whispers about their "immortal face." It reflects on the lasting impact a person can have on others even after their physical presence has ceased.


  • Endurance and Patience: The poem conveys a sense of endurance and patience as the individual perseveres through challenges and trials.
  • Recognition and Honor: The poem evokes a sense of recognition and honor, as the individual transitions from a humble figure to one surrounded by "Crowns" and "Courtiers."

Literary Devices

  • Imagery: The poem uses imagery to vividly depict the transformation of the individual's appearance, their surroundings, and their journey from simplicity to grandeur.
  • Contrast: The poem contrasts the individual's patient and humble existence with their eventual state of recognition and honor.

Discussion Question

How does Emily Dickinson use imagery and contrast in "SHE BORE IT TILL THE SIMPLE VEINS" to convey the transformation of an individual from a state of simplicity to one of recognition and celestial significance?

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