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Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat by Emily Dickinson


"Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat" is about how, through experience, our soul can be refined and be ready for, hopefully, something better in the afterlife. The forge represents experience while the hammer is pain and hardships. The white heat is her own hardships.

This poem is made up of only one stanza with sixteen lines. No, it isn't a sonnet like you might expect. It's simply a unique poem written by Dickinson. It contains the rhyme scheme ABABCDAEFGDCBEAD. Or something like that anyway. The scheme is not a perfect-rhyme, but it is imperfect.

Johnson number: 365


Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat

Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat?
Then crouch within the door --
Red -- is the Fire's common tint --
But when the vivid Ore
Has vanquished Flame's conditions,
It quivers from the Forge
Without a color, but the light
Of unanointed Blaze.
Least Village has its Blacksmith
Whose Anvil's even ring
Stands symbol for the finer Forge
That soundless tugs -- within --
Refining these impatient Ores
With hammer, and with Blaze
Until the Designated Light
Repudiate the Forge --

Next: Death Sets a Thing
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Literary Movement
19th Century

Spirit, Death, Pain

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