“Wild Nights” by Emily Dickinson (1)

20190528_172332 sea

“Wild Nights” (249) by Emily Dickinson

Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the Winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor – Tonight –
In Thee!

This short poem, dating to about 1861, focuses on rapture, ecstasy, passionate union and it can be read as referring either to a deeply personal, sexual longing or to a spiritual union experienced with God. In addition, since there are many marine references, the poem can also be a straightforward evocation of an actual tempest.

After Emily Dickinson’s death in 1886, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, friend of the poet, and Mabel Loomis Todd, edited for publication hundreds of her poems.
Higginson thought that this particular poem was religious but was aware that others might misunderstand it, so he wrote to co-editor Todd about it:
“One poem I dread a little to print – that wonderful Wild Nights – lest the malignant read into it more than that virgin recluse ever dreamed of putting there.”

Because of the poem’s ambiguity and the use of metaphor, its interpretation is not univocal.

Notti selvagge! Notti selvagge!
Se io fossi con te,
le notti selvagge sarebbero
la nostra voluttà!

Inutili i venti
per un Cuore in porto:
finito con la Bussola,
finito con la Mappa!

Remare nell’Eden!
Ah, il mare!
Potessi solo ormeggiare – Stanotte
in Te!

(L.Z.)

32 thoughts on ““Wild Nights” by Emily Dickinson (1)

  1. Luxury e voluttà le vedo lontane, chissà se ha a che fare con Luxor in Egitto o addirittura con la luce intesa come energia una Emily un po Anais Nin non me la aspettavo, appena finirò King passo alle donne

    Liked by 4 people

  2. great set of images, and power, there is a void deep in all life, and from this core, we communicate, in the modern world, we have tried to remove everything we see good in, package it, sell it, and then replicate it, providing we can get away with it, have a great weekend

    Liked by 4 people

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