She Sweeps with many Colored Brooms Poem Summary line by line
She Sweeps with Many-Colored Brooms is a poem by Emily Dickinson that showcases her unique style and thematic exploration. that highlights her distinct aesthetic and thematic investigation. Like many of Dickinson’s poems, this one is thought-provoking because it blends mysterious language with vivid imagery.
Below is a detailed summary of the poem line by line:
She Sweeps with many Colored Brooms Poem Summary
- She sweeps with many-colored brooms, The speaker presents a female figure sweeping with multicolored brooms. The act of sweeping could represent a kind of order or control, and the scene is made more complex and diverse by the use of multicolored brooms.
- And leaves the shreds behind; The woman sweeps, leaving behind the remnants, the “shreds.” This could stand for the remains of something that was thrown away or the evidence of her activities. The poet starts laying the groundwork for a more comprehensive metaphorical interpretation.
- Oh, housewife in the evening west, The woman is referred to as a “housewife,” implying a domestic role. The phrase “evening west” suggests the end of the day, possibly symbolizing the later stages of life or a sense of closure.
- Come back, and dust the pond! The speaker addresses the housewife, inviting her to return and “dust the pond.” This unusual request introduces a metaphorical layer to the poem, as dusting the pond may imply a transformative or purifying act.
- You dropped a purple ravelling in, The speaker notes that the housewife dropped something purple into the pond. The color purple is often associated with royalty or mystery, and the act of dropping it into the pond suggests an intentional and significant action.
- And made the water gay, The purple item, once dropped into the pond, has a transformative effect, making the water “gay.” Here, “gay” likely refers to a sense of joy or liveliness, emphasizing the positive impact of the housewife’s action.
- With one more sunrise in your hands, The housewife is described as holding “one more sunrise in your hands.” This metaphorical sunrise suggests a new beginning or opportunity within her grasp, further emphasizing the transformative power she possesses.
- O kindly, stop for me! The speaker implores the housewife to pause or “stop” for them. This plea introduces a sense of urgency or a desire for the housewife’s attention, indicating that there might be a deeper significance to her actions.
- I’m only sweeping here; The housewife responds, stating that she is merely engaged in the act of sweeping. This could suggest a focus on routine or mundane tasks, possibly downplaying the significance of her actions.
- The stars so much to do, The housewife attributes her sweeping to the stars having “so much to do.” This line introduces a cosmic perspective, linking the domestic act of sweeping to larger celestial forces and emphasizing a sense of purpose or duty.
- And hemmed the hem of God. The speaker describes how the stars have “hemmed the hem of God.” This celestial imagery suggests that the stars are involved in a divine or cosmic task, contributing to a broader understanding of the universe.
- ‘Twould be too starry to go back, The housewife expresses that returning would be “too starry,” implying that the celestial realm is too dazzling or overwhelming. This may suggest a reluctance to go back to a more mundane existence after being involved in such cosmic tasks.
- And be an evening girl – Instead of returning, the housewife expresses a desire to become an “evening girl.” This phrase introduces a new identity or role, emphasizing a transition or transformation that aligns with the poem’s overarching themes.
- But she sweeps with many-colored brooms, The poem concludes by reiterating the housewife’s sweeping with many-colored brooms. The repetition of this image serves to emphasize the ongoing nature of her cosmic and transformative actions.
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And leaves the shreds behind;
Oh, housewife in the evening west,
Come back, and dust the pond!You dropped a purple ravelling in,
You dropped an amber thread;
And now you’ve littered all the East
With duds of emerald!And still she plies her spotted brooms,
And still the aprons fly,
Till brooms fade softly into stars —
And then I come away.
“She Sweeps with Many-Colored Brooms” by Emily Dickinson is a poetic exploration of the intersection between the domestic and the cosmic. Through vivid imagery and metaphorical language, the poem depicts a housewife engaged in the routine act of sweeping, elevating this mundane task to a cosmic and transformative level. The introduction of many-colored brooms, the dropping of a purple ravelling into the pond, and the celestial references contribute to a rich and enigmatic tapestry of meanings. The poem raises questions about the nature of routine actions, the cosmic significance of seemingly ordinary tasks, and the potential for transformation in the everyday. Dickinson skillfully weaves together the domestic and the celestial, inviting readers to contemplate the cosmic dimensions of their own lives.
1. What does the dropping of the purple ravelling into the pond represent?
The dropping of the purple ravelling into the pond signifies a deliberate and significant action by the housewife. The purple color, associated with royalty or mystery, transforms the water and makes it gay, introducing an element of joy and positive change.
2. Why does the speaker ask the housewife to stop?
The speaker’s plea for the housewife to stop suggests a desire for attention and engagement. It implies that there may be deeper meanings or significance in the housewife’s actions that the speaker wants to explore or understand.
3. What is the meaning of the housewife wanting to be an “evening girl”?
The housewife’s desire to become an “evening girl” suggests a longing for a transformative or alternative identity. It implies a shift from the routine roles associated with daytime activities to something more mystical or extraordinary, aligning with the celestial themes of the poem.
4. How does the poem blend the domestic with the cosmic?
The poem seamlessly blends the domestic with the cosmic by presenting the routine act of sweeping as having cosmic significance. The many-colored brooms, the purple ravelling, and the celestial references create a poetic tapestry that connects the everyday with the extraordinary, inviting readers to reconsider the cosmic dimensions of their own lives.
5. What is the overall theme of “She Sweeps with Many-Colored Brooms”?
The overall theme of the poem revolves around the transformative power of seemingly ordinary actions and the connection between the domestic and the cosmic. The poem encourages readers to recognize the potential for profound significance in routine tasks and to contemplate the cosmic dimensions of their existence.