“The reticent volcano keeps” — Emily Dickinson


This Dickinson poem is a sort of epigraph to Anne Carson’s novel-poem-poem-novel Autobiography of Red. I had never read either, before today, somehow, but oh my electric!

3 thoughts on ““The reticent volcano keeps” — Emily Dickinson”

  1. I don’t see an analysis anywhere on the internet, so I will take a shot. Death is beyond the last veil and is the ultimate secret. Dickinson writes about death in other poems. The one line that makes me question if death is the secret is “Confided are his projects pink.” This line may refer to a secret affair. Her poem about Wild Nights is erotic and a volcano has erotic symbolism. The line about pink may also refer to birth and the secrets held before we enter this world.. Sex, birth, and death may twist together. When she writes “without a listener’ she shows her Agnostic belief. “Babblers” may refer to preachers who profess to know secrets beyond the grave. I’m guessing she uses multiplicity and all these elements feature in the poem.


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