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Dickinson, Emily. "My life closed twice before its close".

Summary and Analysis

The speaker observes that her life has closed twice already before its close and she wonders whether Immortality prepares for her another such experience. The pain of parting is briefly sketched, which suggests that it is the death of a beloved person that she twice experienced.

She perceives parting as hopeless. She connects parting both with heaven and hell in the concluding lines: "Parting is all we know of heaven, / And all we need of hell." This connection makes sense when made by a living person because for the survivors it does not make any difference in the parting whether the way of the departed person leads towards heaven or hell. This only makes difference for the dead one.


  • Author

    Dickinson, Emily. (1830 - 1886).
  • Full Title

    Untitled, the first line is used for identification.
  • Form


Works Cited

Dickinson, Emily. "My life closed twice before its close". In: The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym et al. NY: Norton, 1989.


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