Went Up A Year This Evening, Emily Dickinson: Summary & Analysis

"WENT UP A YEAR THIS EVENING!" by Emily Dickinson is a contemplative poem that reflects on the passage of time and the significance of a year passing. The poem captures the speaker's reflections on the past year and the emotions associated with its passing. Through subtle imagery and introspective language, Dickinson explores the themes of time, change, and the human experience.

WENT UP A YEAR THIS EVENING!

Went up a year this evening!
I recollect it well!
Amid no bells nor bravoes
The bystanders will tell!
Cheerful — as to the village —
Tranquil — as to repose —
Chastened — as to the Chapel
This humble Tourist rose!
Did not talk of returning!
Alluded to no time
When, were the gales propitious —
We might look for him!
Was grateful for the Roses
In life's diverse bouquet —
Talked softly of new species
To pick another day;
Beguiling thus the wonder
The wondrous nearer drew —
Hands bustled at the moorings —
The crown respectful grew —
Ascended from our vision
To Countenances new!
A Difference — A Daisy —
Is all the rest I knew!

Summary

"WENT UP A YEAR THIS EVENING!" reflects on the passage of a year, highlighting the speaker's recollections and reflections on the past year's events. The poem explores the emotions, attitudes, and conversations that took place during the year and encapsulates the essence of the year's passing through subtle imagery and introspective language.

Critical Analysis

The poem opens with the phrase "Went up a year this evening," suggesting the movement of time as a year passes. The phrase carries a sense of ascent and progression, which sets the tone for the reflective nature of the poem. The use of "Went up" suggests that the year has concluded or reached its culmination, implying a sense of accomplishment and growth.

The imagery of "Amid no bells nor bravoes" creates a contrast between the lack of outward celebrations and the profound impact of the passing year. This highlights the personal and internal nature of the reflections, emphasizing the speaker's individual experience.

The poem continues with contrasting emotions such as "Cheerful" and "Chastened," suggesting a mix of positive and subdued feelings associated with the events of the year. The speaker's humility is depicted through the metaphor of a "humble Tourist" rising to a higher understanding or perspective as the year unfolds.

The lines "Did not talk of returning! / Alluded to no time / When, were the gales propitious — / We might look for him!" suggest a sense of forward momentum and a focus on the present and future rather than dwelling on the past. The speaker expresses gratitude for the "Roses / In life's diverse bouquet," symbolizing the various experiences and moments that make up life.

The reference to "new species" to be picked on another day hints at the anticipation of new opportunities and experiences in the future. This anticipation adds a sense of hope and curiosity to the reflections on the year.

The final lines emphasize the transformative nature of time. The mention of "Countenances new" suggests the changing faces and experiences that the passing year has brought. The concluding metaphor of "A Difference — A Daisy" encapsulates the essence of the year's impact — a small change, like a single daisy, has made all the difference in the speaker's perception and understanding.

Themes

  • Passage of Time: The poem explores the passage of a year and the emotions, changes, and reflections associated with its passing.
  • Personal Reflection: The poem delves into the speaker's personal reflections on the events and experiences of the past year.
  • Anticipation and Hope: The mention of "new species" and the speaker's anticipation of future experiences convey a sense of hope and curiosity for what lies ahead.

Attitudes/Feelings

  • Reflection: The poem conveys the speaker's reflective and introspective attitude as they contemplate the events and significance of the past year.
  • Gratitude: The speaker expresses gratitude for the various experiences, symbolized by the "

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