Poem 54 – “I went to heaven”

Poem 54 - "I went to heaven"

What heaven could be like. Who’s never thought about that? Emily Dickinson did! She wrote the poem we know as Poem 54 and/or “I went to heaven.”

About this article

This article was originally published on 6 August 2017. Just like many other articles on this website, this one is rewritten because of the relaunch of the website in 2020.

About Poem 54

About this poem

So many people have thought about the afterlife and especially heaven. It doesn’t matter if you’re a religious person or not and it doesn’t even matter what religion you’re into. No, the afterlife is universal. Well, if there is any afterlife…

Dickinson (1830 – 1886) also thought about what heaven could be like. According to her, it could be a great place. So great, that she wanted to go there. That is both strange and disturbing. But, this is Emily Dickinson.

You have to keep in mind that she didn’t lead the normal life women as she did. She never married, probably had some affairs and didn’t leave the house much. Perhaps this is because of her mind-set or even depression. To go to heaven was something of an escape. To escape the life she was leading.

So, according to Dickinson, this is truly a beautiful place. Roads lit by ruby stones, fields with dew and beautiful pictures – that no human drew. In the end, she tries to bring forward that she might as well be there because it’s so beautiful.

The poem consists of one single stanza of sixteen lines. Several lines rhyme, but it’s more a type of slant rhyme.

Poem 54 - "I went to heaven"

Poem 54 – “I went to heaven”

I went to heaven, –
‘Twas a small town,
Lit with a ruby,
Lathed with down.
Stiller than the fields
At the full dew,
Beautiful as pictures
No man drew.
People like the moth,
Of mechlin, frames,
Duties of gossamer,
And eider names.
Almost contented
I could be
‘Mong such unique
Society.

Emily Dickinson

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