Summary of A Light Exists in Spring by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is an American poet who was born in 1830 in the city Massachusetts. She had lived her life in solitude, without having any visitors and friends to see her. The only means of communication was through letters, which she used to write to her father and sister-in-law. These letters were the only poems that she used to write about the things that had mesmerized her. Here I am going to write the critical analysis and summary of the poem, “A Light exists in Spring”.


A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here

In these lines, the poet is speaking about light that exists only in the Spring, and not in any other weather. A period before March is when everything in the nature rejuvenates and comes back to life.
A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

In these lines, she means to say that there is a different colour in the environment, a different shade of light in the horizon. The sky and the fields send a sense of solitude and sadness, which only the human nature can feel, and not science or any kind of theory can explain why such a phenomena to anyone.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

The poet wants to say how she can almost interact with the light, and the beautiful things that the light opens her eyes to. She mentions how it hovers over the lawns, and how it reaches the trees in the distance and the mountain in the distance. The poet feels that as if the lights almost speaking to her, and is trying to show her around. The poet feels that the light is almost speaking to her in a different language.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —

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The poet now speaks of how the day passes by, and the light disappears. The poet says that as the light disappears in the noon towards the horizon. The poet speaks here about the day descending to the horizon with the sunset, and the day dims into darkness. The poet is saying that there is no formula in Science again, which could explain how the light just passes away swiftly without making a sound it leaves us behind, and goes away.

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

The poet says that she feels a kind of loss when she sees the light going away, she senses that there is an unfair trade which is present in such a process, where there are ups and downs with the sanctity of the entire process. She says that it’s an unfair trade that the light comes for sometimes and leaves again.

Emily Dickinson has written this as a very religious poem, and it is a metaphor for the cycle of life. By the word Light, she was trying to speak about presence of God. Light is metaphor for holiness and divinity in Christianity or all the religionsacross world. She is directing towards the cycle of life and death in this poem, where the light is the symbol of life, and darkness is the symbol of death. She tries to tell that the Spring is the season of life, as everything comes alive in the Spring, and Winter is the season when everything dies; all the leaves on the trees die, and all the animals hibernate. Hence, the entire environment looks dead and lifeless. But in Spring, everything comes back to life, and everything rejuvenates.

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She speaks that with the ray of light, life comes to everyone in the Spring, as same as birth happens. It brings happiness; it shows new things in life, like the light shows new places and horizons to us, new experiences and new memories. And with time death seeps in, and takes that life or the light away from us, leaving us behind alone with the memories all alone. There is no science that could explain why this happens, or any kind of logic why we feel this sense of separation when someone dear to us leave us and all we are left with is memories of that person. The poet calls this an unfair deal; the way people come in life and leave her like the light.