Title divine—is mine!

by Emily Dickinson

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The Title Divine is a 15 stanza poem by the American poet Emily Dickinson, with herself, women, and marriage as its subjects. If there is a character, it is Emily Dickinson herself.

Though some sources state that Dickinson is promoting the idea of marriage, particularly along religious lines, others claim that Dickinson is angry that her role in life is seen to be only that of a wife; even though she is unmarried.

She calls herself;

The Wife - without the sign.

And in her opinion, there is no other option for women other than to be, as she states:

Born - bridalled - shrouded

However, there is also some suggestion in the poem that she is for the institution, comparing it to the ultimate sacrifice - Jesus's crucifixion.

Empress of Calvary

Royal - all but the crown.

Further on she states:

God sends us women.

This implies that being a wife, "a divine title," brings women closer to God.

On the flip side such lines as:

"My husband" - women say -

Stroking the Melody

Is this - the way?

could be construed as ironic, or Dickinson's way of questioning whether or not society's expectations are the proper path for her.

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