There is Another Sky: Summary and Analysis: 2022

Emily Dickinson wrote this poem to her brother, Austin, the eldest of the Dickinson’ children, who was in Boston at the time. It was sent to him along with her letters. Different people interpret this poem in different ways, and the real truth behind this piece of poetry can be said to be known only to the persons involved.

About the Poet:

Emily Dickinson was born in 1830 in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts. Though her family was well connected and though her father took active participation in both state and national politics, Dickinson seldom left her home. The number of visitors was few, but they had a huge impact on her life and her poetry. Of note is Reverend Charles Wadsworth, whose departure is believed to have given rise to heartsick poetry. By the 1860s, she lived in almost complete isolation. Her work was not recognized during her lifetime, but the publication of her poems posthumously gained her a large recognition and reputation. She died in 1886, aged 55.

There is Another Sky: Setting

The poem is inside a letter sent to her beloved brother Austin. Hence the setting is just that; a letter. But contained within are fair skies, light and darkness, forests and fields, and many other elements of nature.

There is Another Sky: Poetic Devices

Metaphor: The poem’s name itself is a metaphor. ‘There is another sky,’ the starting line of the poem, is a metaphor for ‘there is another place for you.’ The poetess is saying that though he, the brother, is in someplace else, there is a home waiting for him.

Repetition:  ‘There is another sky’ and ‘there is another sunshine’; this gives a poetic vibe enhancing the effect of the individual meanings. ‘Never mind…’ and ‘Never mind…’ in lines 5 and 6 also use the same poetic device. They put an emphasis on the ‘do not mind’ part. The same is the case with ‘Here’ in both lines 7 and 9. In lines 1 and line 3 of the poem, repeated sentences are used.

Onomatopoeia: In the 12th line of the poem, the use of ‘hum’ is seen in relation to bees.

Hyperbole: There is not a place where frost does not visit sometimes or the other. Similarly, flowers are not for eternity. They fade with time, dry, and die. But this is exactly what the poetess implies in lines 10 and 11. This is an exaggeration that cannot possibly be true. Hence, it is hyperbole.

Slant Rhyme: Fair-there, green-been are examples of slant rhyme used in the poem in the lines 2-4 and 8-10 in the poem.

There is Another Sky: Summary

Austin, there is another sky, a sky that is bright and calm. And though there might be darkness there where you are, there is a place with sunshine here. Do not mind the faded forests you see, Austin; do not mind the silent fields. Here is a little forest which is exactly the opposite. The leaves in this forest are evergreen. It has bright gardens untouched by frost. It has bright, unfading flowers where you can hear the bees hum. So listen to me, brother, and leave where you are, and come to this garden of mine.

There is Another Sky: Analysis

Different people interpret this poem in different ways. Some say this poem is an invitation to return back home from a sister to a brother. Others say it shows the everlasting importance of home. Everything else can fade away, but the home remains bright for all time. But I like to think there is a deeper meaning than just an invitation to her brother.

The poetess is asking her brother to read her poems, for, in her poems, there is a different world. In her world, there is a different sky than that of the outside. This sky is always calm and sunny. There is never darkness in her world. There are no faded forests; neither are there silent fields. They all exist in the outside world, but here, in her world, they are not heard of.

In their place, there is a small forest of evergreen leaves and unfading flowers. And into this garden of hers, she is inviting in her brother. Her poems are always bright and evergreen. They do not fade with time, and there is always brightness. This can be related to the fact that poems are truly eternal. Poets may pass away, but their poems remain forever.

And poets can create any world in their poems. Mind is a well of limitless possibilities. Inside one’s mind, one can be anything and everything. Inside one’s mind, one can forget about the darkness of the outside world and soak in pure happiness and joy. My poems are an entry to such a mind, Emily Dickinson says through this poem. So wherever you are in the world, you can forget your worries and enter into my world, my garden, for a reprieve.

This poem is at the same time an invitation for a brother to come home or/and find a home within the poetess’s poems. It is also a highlight of the boundless possibilities within one’s mind. Only in one’s mind can there be a garden untouched by frost; only in one’s mind can there be an unfading flower. In one’s mind, anything and everything are possible. And poetry is a means to open up those possibilities.

There is Another Sky: Central Idea

The central idea behind this poem is to invite the poetess’s brother, Austin, to read her poems. This is supported by the fact that the world as showcased by the poetess is a practical impossibility. Even when viewed as an exaggeration of one’s attitude towards one’s home, believing it to be a place of untainted happiness, the poem cannot just be left as an invitation to come home. This is because, in the last line of the poem, the poetess says, ‘Into my garden come!’ Not our, my, indicating that the world is more in her imagination, more in her poems than in reality.

There is Another Sky: Tone

The tone of the poem is encouraging, inspiring, and hopeful. But it does not exactly start as such. The first few lines of the poem it is more depressing. This is seen in the use of ‘darkness,’ ‘faded,’ ‘silent.’ But it is not all sadness as the poetess always gives hope by saying, ‘There is another sky’ in the beginning. This is also seen in the second part of the poem, in which the use of words such as ‘brighter,’ ‘bright bee’ goes to show the positivity and hopefulness of the poetess.

Though the poem is originally intended for her brother, as per one’s interpretations, one can easily view this poem as a powerful message, no matter how much one is suffering, no matter how much negativity there is in one’s life, there is always another place free from them; there is always another sky awaiting. Emily Dickinson creates a bright, evergreen world through her poems and invites her brother, who may be experiencing depression or sadness, into it. She is saying poetry is a way to unlock new and personal, and happy worlds.

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