Her Parties all astir—
A Presence of Departed Acts—
At window—and at Door—
Remorse is an essential part of our memory, it is that painful part that is always “awake”, vigilant, persistent, unforgiving. Everything in it is in constant motion, a continuous presence of deeds which are everywhere, crowding our windows and doors. Remorse is relived every time we think of our past actions, the “Departed Acts”.
It’s Past—set down before the Soul
And lighted with a Match—
And help Belief to stretch—
The second stanza describes the past as being set down before the Soul: it is always there, and even if it is lit only by a dim light, this does not allow the obscurity of oblivion. On the contrary, it facilitates its incessant examination of the past action, and enhances the soul’s ability to see and to believe the painful truths of memory.
The match may also represent the smallest trigger that can start a fire inside our souls.
Remorse is cureless—the Disease
Not even God—can heal—
For ’tis His institution—and
The Adequate of Hell—
In the last stanza remorse is a hopeless disease, a feeling that it is not possible to cure. Not even God can heal it, because it is His institution. He is helpless because He has created this feeling so that man could have an appropriate earthly counterpart of hell. Thus, memory and remorse have taken on the attributes of hell and remorse has become the complement of hell on earth
The theme of pain. not only physical, but also mental anguish, is one among the most recurrent issues of Emily Dickinson’s, along with the idea of death, time and immortality.