Utena - Dickinson poem

Emily Dickinson never married. This poem about marriage portrays it as the end of summer and a lifelong prison sentence, locking the woman away from society and freedom of movement. She lived in a repressive society (much more than today’s), but by secluding herself she kept up her free spirit. Her attitude and her symbols are a lot like Utena’s.

’Twas here my summer paused
What ripeness after then
To other scene or other soul
My sentence had begun.

To winter to remove
With winter to abide
Go manacle your icicle
Against your Tropic Bride.

After summer, the “ripeness” to others is none. “Sentence” means prison sentence, as the manacles make clear. The icicle is a phallic symbol.

Jay Scott <jay@satirist.org>
first posted 18 February 2024