Friday, September 16, 2011

Emily Dickinson "Like her the Saints retire" 59/1775
Purple and red sunset. Sunset from Barceloneta.
"Indian Collecting Cochineal with a Deer Tail 1777 by José Antonio de Alzate y Ramírez

The Holy Trinity with saints in heaven, the Garden of Eden below - By Scipione Compagnoca 1624-ante 1680 (Italy)

Like her the Saints retire by Emily Dickinson

Like her the Saints retire,
In their Chapeaux of fire,
Martial as she!

Like her the Evenings steal
Purple and Cochineal
After the Day!

"Departed" — both — they say!
i.e. gathered away,
Not found

Argues the Aster still —
Reasons the Daffodil

Much mystic symbolism today in Emily Dickinson's poem "Like her the Saints retire".

In the first stanza;

"Like her the Saints retire,
In their Chapeaux of fire,
Martial as she!"

Please see below for further research as to the symbols possible meaning to Emily.

"Like her the Saints retire"

To be, I believe Emily is use of technical literary devices, especially imagery and allegory is fairly prevalent here. "the Saints" would "retire" like the setting sun; or sunset. I believe this is a poem, with alludes to, the sunset.

Remarkable is the fantastic fanfare of colourful imagery, expressing meaningful symbolism for Emily, what does evolve around her world at Amherst College, MA. As the sunset does give involve her in religious esctasy, such transcedental state of euphoria as to the glory of heaven displayed each evening at sunset.

Emily's religious symbolism does evoke a grandiose splendour of the sunset and "the Saints" allegory. "the Saints retire" "In their Chapeaux of fire". The crimson colour of sunset could denote a hat of fire, "Chapeaux" in French being hat. As a warrior, saints often are, especially during early Christian times, during the Roman era. These sunset saints are definitely warriors from the first century CE, and make brilliant display at night. Emily must see these images in the clouds during sunset, using her vivid imagination as fertile grounds for this poem.

"Like her the Evenings steal
Purple and Cochineal
After the Day!"

In the second stanza Emily continues upon the sunset theme. As an allegory to sunset "the Saints" are dressed in "Purple and Cochineal" (Cochineal is a crimson colour as well an insect from Mexico, a naturalist, such as Emily dream combination of all things Natural Science). Please see below for further detail on "cochineal dies).

"After the Day" refers to Emily's common theme in many of her poems of rebirth after death and the Victory of death in a Christian-themed as well as transcedental rebirth. "After the Day" also refers to the sunset.

"Departed" — both — they say!
i.e. gathered away,
Not found

The third stanza is very modern, and makes reference to "Departed" saints as well as librarian science, as if the "Not found" category is left open and vacuous, "i.e. gathered away" is an academic latin word for'

abbreviation for
(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) id est
[Latin: that is (to say); in other words]

Which would read "in other words ; gathered away"

I find Emily's use of "i.e." a very modern approach at expressing her world in Amherst, and her daily academic writing where she would employ such academic terminology rel abbreviations referring to literary symbolism. Emily's using short-form here, and I have not noticed this in other poets of her times.

"Argues the Aster still —
Reasons the Daffodil

The last stanza, again a reference to natural symbolism, discusses the flowers "Aster" and "Daffodil". These flowers, capitalized as Proper pronouns do connote allegorical forms which references the seasons, another theme in Emily's poems. The Daffodil is the flower for March or Spring and the Aster is the flower for September or Fall. These two opposing seasons would flank the Summer season when sunsets are at their peak colours.

As the flowers do "Argue(s)" and "Reason(s)" denoting the many philosophy classes which Emily undoubtedly did peruse during her days at Amherst College, MA. Plato's Repubic as well as other Ancient Greek philosophers clash with the religious symbolism of early Christian motifs, as well as the ever-present interest in Natural Sciences. That the Spring (as Aster) "Argues" with the Fall, as the "Aster" (Fall) does "Reason" with the Spring is interesting in that there is this continual contrast evident in the Red/Blue colour spectrum (Purple and Cochineal). A play of opposites creates this dramatic display at the end of a summer season's sunset.

On many different levels Emily Dickinson's poem "Like her the Saints retire" creates dramatic religious, natural subjects imagery, etc., to produce a indelible memory of compare and contrast.

Chapeaux of fire
Definition of "martial"

1.of or suitable for war: martial songs
2.showing a readiness or eagerness to fight; warlike
3.of the army, the navy, or military life; military
Origin: ME martialle < L martialis, of Mars
Related Forms:


(Marcus Valerius Martialis) 40?-104?; Rom. epigrammatist & poet, born in Spain

“And the woman [always the symbol for a church/kirke] was arrayed in purple
and scarlet color [these colors symbolize wealth and high position], and decked
with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand
full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication” (Revelation 17:4).

) According to the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (p. 158) “blue, purple and scarlet suggest wealth and
royalty… And we find that these same colors adorned the tabernacle of ancient Israel as well, suggesting that Yahweh was the wealthy and powerful God-king, who brought an impoverished people out of slavery in Egypt to make them a mighty nation. Because of their associations with deity and power, blue and purple were apparently also used to decorate idols in biblical times (Je 10:9). In ancient thought the sky was believed to separate the place of the gods from the human realm. Therefore blue, the color of the sky, could appropriately suggest the boundary between God and his people and symbolize his majesty. Blue was [also] the dominant color of the vestments of ancient Israel’s high priest (Ex 28). The high priest wore an outer garment of solid blue over the white robe of the priesthood. He was the boundary between the human and divine realms, moving in both as he ministered in the Holy of Holies. Blue also separated the holy articles of the
tabernacle from the people… Israel was a nation set apart for God, but the high priest and the most holy things were specially designated for the Lord’s service. In this context blue suggests the boundary of holy separation unto the Lord.”

2) The Dictionary of Symbols, Myths and Legends (p. 62-63) has this to say: “Through its association with water, blue is connected with the spiritual life, the soul, purity, depth and crystal. It is also linked to the sky, the firmament, heaven, the infinite, the absolute and diamonds… the appearance of blue in a dream is almost always a good omen, in the sense that it often reveals a state of grace, a relationship with the superior spirit that lies dormant within each and every one of us, and the spiritual aspirations of which we are more or less aware or which preoccupy us during our waking hours. Blue should always be associated with well-being, gentleness, harmony, and pure and profound
sentiments. It calms fever, passions and tensions, wards off fate and absorbs evil. Blue is therefore a beneficial colour. It is also the colour of love.”

3) Hans Biedermann’s Dictionary of Symbolism (p. 44) provides further insight: “Blue is the color that most frequently is seen as a symbol for things of the spirit and the intellect… It is the color of the sky, associated in ancient Egypt with the sky-god Amon… This is why it is the color of the heavens. Zeus and Yahweh plant their feet on sky blue… Vishnu in ancient Indian myth is colored blue as Krishna; Jesus teaches in a blue garment.”

But perhaps the most revealing statements from Biedermann’s book are these:

a) “Blue, the symbol of the truth and the eternity of God (for what is true is eternal), will always remain the symbol of human immortality” [Portal].

This neatly mirrors the church’s false doctrine of the immortality of the soul,
wouldn’t you say? … and

b) “In Central European popular symbology blue is the color of fidelity, but also of mystery (the fairy tale “The Blue Light”), deception, and uncertainty (numerous German idions; compare the English “out of the blue”). The association between the color and intoxication (the German adjective blau is also a colloquialism for “drunk”) is hard to explain but may have to do with the bluish coloration of the cheeks and noses of heavy drinkers.”

In Re 17:6 we read that Mystery Babylon is DRUNK with the blood of the saints. Coincidence?

Anyway, that’s what I’ve come up with. Your thoughts?

PS: I find the headgear on the woman pictured in the coin to be strikingly similar to that of the Statue of Liberty. Another coincidence?

BTW: There is no Hebrew word for “coincidence.”


The Tabernacle:

1. Exodus 26:1
“Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them by a skilled craftsman.

2. Exodus 26:31
“Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim worked into it by a skilled craftsman.

3. Exodus 26:36
“For the entrance to the tent make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer.

4. Exodus 27:16
“For the entrance to the courtyard, provide a curtain twenty cubits long, of blue, purple and scarlet
yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer—with four posts and four bases.

Following are instruction for the priestly garments:

5. Exodus 28:5
Have them use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen.

6. Exodus 28:6
[ The Ephod ] “Make the ephod of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen—the work of a skilled craftsman.

7. Exodus 28:8
Its skillfully woven waistband is to be like it—of one piece with the ephod and made with gold, and with blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and with finely twisted linen.

8. Exodus 28:15
[ The Breastpiece ] “Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions—the work of a skilled craftsman. Make it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen.

9. Exodus 38:23
with him was
Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan—a craftsman and designer, and an embroiderer in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen.)

……… wow get the picture! There are another 17 examples of these colors repeated in Exodus regarding the Presley garments including Gold and precious stones. Also we find below the same colors when Solomon builds the temple:

2 Chronicles 3:14
He made the curtain of blue, purple and crimson yarn and fine linen, with cherubim worked into it. (Cherubim on the Ark were gold)

So the colors of Gods Tabernacle / Church / Sanctuary are blue, purple and scarlet with Gold.

Going back to the great harlot the colors would indicate the harlot is a Church or priesthood of that Church. But there is a color missing from this Church and that is Blue.

So what is significant about blue mentioned time and time again above?
Was it there just because it
looked pretty? No, here is the very definitive answer with wording that relates very closely to revelation! This is the Key:

Numbers 15:37-40
Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God.

So blue is to represent the 10 Commandments, so the Great harlot is an unfaithful church who has forgotten and does follow all the Ten Commandments!

If you care to do some digging yourself you will find many reference that point to the 10 commandments being on blue
stone or blue sapphire from the throne of God mention in Exodus 24:10:

“…and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.”

And we know God wrote the commandments with his own finger in stone:

Exodus 31:18
“When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.”

To me this is very interesting, but Numbers 15 really says it all: the harlot is an unfaithful people / Church / priesthood.

March - Daffodil
Daffodils have the meaning of rebirth, respect, regard and unrequited love. There are many different varieties available of daffodils from double peach forms (right) to the classic white with yellow, trumpeted centers (left). Daffodils are grown from bulbs and emerge in spring as a welcome harbinger of warmer weather. In England, the daffodil is known as the "Lent Lily" because it blooms during the period of lent from the Christian faith.

September - Aster

Aster is a sign of fall as sure as the changing leaves. The flower stands for patience and daintiness and the word "aster" comes from the Latin for star. There are many different varieties of asters from New England to Stokes, which provide beautiful, daisy-like blooms on foliage that can range from 6 inches to 4 feet tall.

Chiccoreal AfterwOrd

Saints be praised
At the Sunset Hour
All ablazed in Violet and Crimson
All Glory Given

See how the season's flowers
March's Aster
September's Daffodil
Bend to Argue and Reason the night away!


  1. Interesting analysis of this intriguing poem (Emily Dickinson is one of my faves), but isn't it a bit like cutting up a flower to find out why it's beautiful?

  2. Thank-you @Vicki and Thank-you @R.A.D. Stainforth!Maybe I do tend to overanalyze Virgo nature maybe? :)