It can’t be “Summer”!
That—got through!
It’s early—yet—for “Spring”!
There’s that long town of White—to cross—
Before the Blackbirds sing!
It can’t be “Dying”!
It’s too Rouge—
The Dead shall go in White—
So Sunset shuts my question down
With Cuffs of Chrysolite!

-Emily Dickinson


“It can’t be Summer” as summer has just gotten through. Then what season is it? It can’t be Spring, as it’s too early. There is a stretch of snow (that long town of White) that has to be gotten across before the birds come back (Before the Blackbirds sing).

The season can’t be Winter for there is too much “Rogue”. The colors red, yellow, and orange are the sunset colors. Presumably, ‘Rogue’ stands for red, which Dickinson has written in many of her poems. Therefore, the season is Autumn.

The seasons have always been metaphors to human life. Spring for youth, Summer for our maturity, Autumn for our transition into Winter years which prepare us for death.

Metamorphically, Autumn symbolizes the age when human life is transcending to old age. The blood is still coursing through our veins. But, Winter stands for death, when the body is as pale as snow, and the body is bloodless (The Dead shall go in White).

So Sunset shuts my question down
With Cuffs of Chrysolite! 

The Sunset, with chrysolite cuffs, shuts Dickinson’s doubt about the season. The color of the sky and nature around is filled with Autumnal colors that erases all questions.

Today, ‘Chrysolite’ refers to greenish gems or color. But some chrysolite gems were yellow. Also, the word in Greek means ‘yellow stone’. Dickinson visualizes the Sun setting with its vivid ‘Rogue’ color at the center, eventually fading out to golden-yellow at the periphery.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s