In Emily Dickinson's "Wild Nights—Wild Nights!", the speaker expresses the loneliness of having no one to love. The poem contrasts the speaker's desire with its fulfillment.
Without a lover, the speaker's heart is metaphorically stuck in port. This metaphor, or explicit comparison, indicates that even the winds cannot move this heart in harbor. The speaker imagines the exhilaration that might be experienced with a lover, "rowing in Eden." This phrase, which also uses nautical imagery, perhaps refers to a sexual union or perhaps simply to two lives joined in a common purpose in life. The line contains an allusion to Eden, the biblical paradise, to indicate the idyllic experience of love.
The speaker uses other imagery related to boating as well. The heart that waits in the harbor like an unused boat has no need for a compass or chart, both tools...
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