What does purple refer to in Emily Dickinson's poem "Purple -- is fashionable twice--"?  What does purple symbolize in this poem?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Purple--is fashionable twice--

This season of the year

And when a soul perceives itself

To be an Emperor

In this very brief poem of Emily Dickinson, the color purple certainly offers a sense of spirituality. A secondary color composed of red and blue, purple is symbolic of stimulation (red) and calm (blue) and is often associated with pure thought. The dichotomy of the symbolic color purple connects these thoughts with a consciousness of the infinite in spiritual understanding. Miss Dickinson's reflection that purple is in style for the season leads her to consider that this color, symbolic of spiritual depth, connects the soul to nature as well as to its royal qualities of spiritual perfection when it reaches heaven.  Emily Dickinson records the impressions of experiences upon her soul, and the experience of this poem is felt as purple with all its mystic and royal qualities.