“Like her the Saints retire” by Emily Dickinson
Like her the Saints
In their Chapeaux of fire,
Martial as she!
Like her the
Purple and Cochineal
After the Day!
both — they say!
i.e. gathered away,
Argues the Aster
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
Martial as she!”
Please see below for further research as to the symbols possible meaning to Emily.
“Like her the Saints retire”
Emily ‘s 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
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 warriors, saints are often depicted, especially
during early Christian times, especially during the Roman era.
The use of a vivid sunset reflects the clouds as various gladiator-type warrior saints of the first century.
These saint-warriors from the first century CE, are in their full regalia and make brilliant display at
sunset. Emily must have seen images similar to various religious paintings in the clouds during sunset, using her vivid
imagination and mystic poetric sensibilities of this fertile ground of an imagination imagery poem.
“Like her the Evenings
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 which the colour crimson is made.
The cochinea insect is from Oaxaca, Mexico. As a naturalist, Emily creates this 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
“Departed” — both — they say!
i.e. gathered away,
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’
(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) id
[Latin: that is (to say); in other
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, is a reference to natural symbolism.
Emily 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.
different levels Emily Dickinson’s poem “Like her the Saints retire” creates
dramatic religious, natural subjects, her imagery produces an indelible
memory of compare and contrast.
Chiccoreal ‘s AfterwOrd(tm)
Warrior Saints be praised
At the Sunset Hour
All ablazed in colour
All Violet and Crimson return
To the Source of All Life
The Glory Given
each approaching and encroaching day to night
Stars stay solid as the firmament shine ever bright
See how the seasonal flowers
rebirth each change this clash of colour
March’s Aster to question
September’s Daffodil to find the anwer
Research for Emily Dickinson’s poem”Like her the Saints retire” by Emily Dickinson
Chapeaux of fire
1.of or suitable for war: martial
2.showing a readiness or eagerness to fight; warlike
3.of the army,
the navy, or military life; military
Origin: ME martialle < L martialis,
Valerius Martialis) 40?-104?; Rom. epigrammatist & poet, born in
“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
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
“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.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve come up with. Your
PS: I find the headgear on the woman pictured in the coin to be
strikingly similar to that of the Statue of Liberty. Another
BTW: There is no Hebrew word for
1. Exodus 26:1
the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and
scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them by a skilled craftsman.
“Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely
twisted linen, with cherubim worked into it by a skilled craftsman.
“For the entrance to the tent make a curtain of blue, purple and
scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer.
“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.
instruction for the priestly garments:
5. Exodus 28:5
Have them use
gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen.
[ 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.
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
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
So what is significant about blue mentioned time and time again
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
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
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
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:
“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 /
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.