A slash of blue

A slash of blue

Poem 204, written by the American poetess Emily Dickinson, is also known as A slash of blue. A poem that seems to describe dawn and dusk. If you’re willing to read more closely, there is much more to this poem.

About A slash of blue

Dickinson describes the sky we see in the evening. Greyness and a slash of blue. This slash is different from how others would describe this type of sky. A slash is the same as a cut or a stroke. This colour is slashed, while the grey seems to be a sweep. In other words: a long, swift, curving movement. Why should this grey move, while the blue seems to be part of a cut. Could this be something of a trauma? Is this the emotion she feels? The sky could be the metaphor for her life. Something was cut out or later added and she did not find the comfort afterwards.

In between these two colours, there is the purple colour. It seems that it’s something that slipped in between. In a hurry, just as the trousers, someone might put on. Yet, this colour is important. She often uses this colour in her poems. It represents something that is the “product” or the “effect” of good judgement. It’s also a colour that comes to mind when thinking of relaxation.

Is this perhaps a political statement? Is this a poem about the American Civil War, perhaps? Or is this a reflection of something that happened in her personal life? This is just another poem written by Dickinson that seems to puzzle us.

Or it might just be about the morning sky. Dickinson might just want us to know, that this sky can be compared to a painter’s canvass. Every day with new colours holds new chances and opportunities.

What’s your opinion?


A slash of blue


A slash of blue

A slash of Blue —
A sweep of Gray —
Some scarlet patches on the way,
Compose an Evening Sky —
A little purple — slipped between —
Some Ruby Trousers hurried on —
A Wave of Gold —
A Bank of Day —
This just makes out the Morning Sky.

Emily Dickinson



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