They Have Not Chosen Me, Emily Dickinson: Summary & Analysis

In "THEY HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, 'HE' SAID," Emily Dickinson presents a concise exploration of themes related to choice, faith, and divine selection. The poem centers around a poignant statement made by the speaker, revealing their perspective on their own worth and their relationship with Jesus.

THEY HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, 'HE' SAID

"They have not chosen me," he said,
"But I have chosen them!"
Brave — Broken hearted statement —
Uttered in Bethlehem!
I could not have told it,
But since Jesus dared —
Sovereign! Know a Daisy
They dishonor shared!

Summary

"THEY HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, 'HE' SAID" delves into themes of divine selection, faith, and humility. The poem captures a statement made by the speaker, who reflects on Jesus' perspective on choosing individuals. The speaker contrasts Jesus' courageous and heartfelt declaration with their own inability to articulate such a sentiment. The poem concludes by suggesting that even a seemingly insignificant "Daisy" shared in the honor that was dishonored.

Critical Analysis

The poem opens with a powerful statement attributed to "he," who proclaims that "They have not chosen me" but emphasizes that "I have chosen them." This declaration underscores the divine selection of individuals by Jesus, highlighting his proactive and intentional choice. The reference to Bethlehem adds a spiritual and biblical context to the poem.

The term "Brave — Broken hearted statement" suggests that the statement is both courageous and emotionally profound. The speaker marvels at Jesus' ability to make such a statement, implying the depth of faith and conviction required to do so.

The speaker contrasts their own limitations with Jesus' daring declaration. They admit, "I could not have told it," indicating their inability to express such a sentiment. This contrast highlights the profound nature of Jesus' statement and his unique perspective as a sovereign figure.

The final lines introduce the concept of a "Daisy" as a symbolic representation. The Daisy is associated with simplicity and humility, and its "dishonor shared" alludes to the idea that even the seemingly insignificant aspects of creation share in the honor bestowed by divine selection.

Themes

  • Divine Selection: The poem explores the concept of divine choice and selection, highlighting Jesus' proactive role in choosing individuals.
  • Faith and Humility: The poem reflects themes of faith and humility, emphasizing Jesus' brave and humble declaration of choosing individuals despite their limitations.
  • Comparative Perspective: The contrast between Jesus' statement and the speaker's inability to express a similar sentiment highlights the unique perspective of a sovereign figure.

Attitudes/Feelings

  • Admiration: The speaker admires Jesus' courageous and heartfelt statement, which reveals their reverence for his divine perspective.
  • Wonder: The speaker's marveling at Jesus' statement conveys a sense of wonder and awe at the depth of faith and conviction.

Language

  • Symbolism: The "Daisy" serves as a symbolic representation of simplicity, humility, and the idea that even the seemingly insignificant aspects of creation share in divine honor.
  • Contrast: The contrast between Jesus' statement and the speaker's admission of inability creates a juxtaposition that highlights the unique nature of Jesus' role and perspective.

Reflect on moments when you've experienced a sense of being chosen or selected for something. How did that experience impact your perspective on your worth and purpose? Share your thoughts and reflections in the comments below, and let's explore the themes of divine selection and faith.

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