Poem 2 – “There is another sky”

There is another sky

Although she never included titles in her poems, this one is known as Poem 2 – “There is another sky.” This poem is an outcry by Emily Dickinson, to convince her brother to move back to the town she lived in. Or is it?

Emily Dickinson

Who was Emily Dickinson?

You can read more about this poetess on the special wiki page containing information about her life. Even for poetry enthusiasts or lovers of today, she’s still very much appreciated. Especially the dark(er) poems appeal to a certain audience.

About the poem

About the Poem 2 – “There is another sky”

Dickinson wrote a poem, that certainly rose some questions. It’s assumed that this poem was for her brother, Austin Dickinson. She wanted him to move from Boston to Amherst, the village she lived in. The strange part is the last line of the poem. The sentence is sometimes dismissed as having a sexual character.

“In my garden come”

But, if you take the sentence before that into consideration and especially the word prithee (meaning: something to used to express a wish or request), it doesn’t become that sexual. This is just a way of her asking her brother to come home, where he can be in her garden. Her garden can be a metaphor for her loving arms. Just like any sister would feel the love for her brother. A brother she truly misses.

There is also another possibility. Perhaps she asks her brother to come to heaven. But, why would she? Perhaps it’s just a matter of settling down. Let’s not forget that William Austin Dickinson (1829 – 1895) lead a far more interesting life than she did. He became a lawyer at his father’s law firm. After his death, he took over the firm. In 1873 he became the treasurer of Amherst College.

Yes, her brother did return home. His wife, Susan Huntington Gilbert, and he lived in one of the two houses now known as the Dickinson Homestead in Amherst.

Well, the last option, if you want to take it that far is to consider this poem as a warning. Austin had an affair with Mabel Loomis Todd (1856 – 1932). She would eventually, together with Thomas Wentworth Higginson, published the first collection of poems written by Emily after she died. Unfortunately, she did something very stupid, together with Higginson: she decided to rewrite some parts.

Just as this is the case, you can go in different directions with this poem by Emily Dickinson. That makes it difficult, but also very challenging to read her work!

There is another sky

Poem 2 – “There is another sky”

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields –
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!

 Emily Dickinson

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