Where Bells No More Affright the Morn, Emily Dickinson: Summary & Analysis

"WHERE BELLS NO MORE AFFRIGHT THE MORN" by Emily Dickinson reflects the speaker's longing for a tranquil and timeless place where disturbances such as the ringing of bells and daily responsibilities cease to exist. The poem contrasts the peace of this imagined haven with the mundane and sometimes disruptive aspects of life. The speaker's desire for such a serene environment is reminiscent of a heavenly paradise, free from earthly distractions.

WHERE BELLS NO MORE AFFRIGHT THE MORN

Where bells no more affright the morn —
Where scrabble never comes —
Where very nimble Gentlemen
Are forced to keep their rooms —
Where tired Children placid sleep
Thro' Centuries of noon
This place is Bliss — this town is Heaven —
Please, Pater, pretty soon!
"Oh could we climb where Moses stood,
And view the Landscape o'er"
Not Father's bells — nor Factories,
Could scare us any more!

Summary

"WHERE BELLS NO MORE AFFRIGHT THE MORN" expresses the speaker's yearning for a peaceful haven where disruptions like bells ringing and the demands of daily life are absent. The poem contrasts the serenity of this imagined place with the bustling and noisy aspects of reality. The speaker's desire for such a calm and timeless environment reflects a longing for a heavenly paradise, detached from the disturbances of earthly existence.

Critical Analysis

The poem opens with a portrayal of a place where bells no longer disturb the morning. This imagery suggests a space free from the conventional constraints of time, where disturbances are absent.

The mention of "scrabble" never coming suggests the absence of hurried and noisy activity, and "very nimble Gentlemen / Are forced to keep their rooms" implies a state of stillness and restfulness.

The image of "tired Children placid sleep / Thro' Centuries of noon" further emphasizes the idea of timelessness and uninterrupted tranquility.

The poem characterizes this imagined place as "Bliss" and "Heaven," conveying a sense of idealized perfection and serenity.

The speaker's plea to "Please, Pater, pretty soon!" suggests a desire for this peaceful haven to become a reality, possibly addressing a divine figure or expressing a longing for a heavenly afterlife.

The poem's concluding lines evoke the biblical story of Moses climbing a mountain to view the promised land. The comparison underscores the speaker's yearning for a panoramic and peaceful view, detached from the disturbances of human society.

Themes

  • Yearning for Tranquility: The poem explores the speaker's longing for a peaceful and disturbance-free environment, where daily disruptions and responsibilities are absent.
  • Heavenly Imagery: The poem uses imagery of bliss, heaven, and a serene landscape to depict the desired haven, suggesting a longing for an idealized heavenly paradise.
  • Escaping Mundane Disturbances: The poem contrasts the imagined peaceful haven with the noisy and bustling aspects of daily life, highlighting the desire to escape from earthly disruptions.

Attitudes/Feelings

  • Longing and Desperation: The poem conveys the speaker's deep yearning for a tranquil and timeless place, where disturbances and disruptions cease to exist.
  • Seeking Solitude: The speaker seeks a space of solitude and serenity, detached from the noise and distractions of the world.
  • Imagining Perfection: The speaker envisions an idyllic and perfect haven, characterized as "Bliss" and "Heaven," where disturbances are inconceivable.

Literary Devices

  • Imagery: The poem uses imagery of bells, nimble gentlemen, and children sleeping to convey the contrasting states of disturbance and tranquility.
  • Contrast: The poem contrasts the imagined haven with the disruptions and demands of reality, creating a juxtaposition that emphasizes the speaker's desire for peace.

Discussion Question

How does the poem's portrayal of an imagined haven without disruptions like bells ringing and daily responsibilities contribute to the theme of seeking tranquility and detachment from the mundane?

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