Come Slowly Poem by Emily Dickinson Summary, Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English for Students


Come Slowly-Eden is a poem written by the American poet Emily Dickinson. The poem can be found in Thomas H. Johnson’s edition, The Poems of Emily Dickinson, published in 1955, which is one of the most well-known and widely used compilations of her poetry. “Come slowly – Eden!” is included in this collection and many other editions of Dickinson’s complete works, including The Poems of Emily Dickinson Edited by R. W. Franklin, which came out in 1999.  In this short poem, the symbolic paradise of Eden is personified and the persona asks it to approach her slowly and tenderly. 

About the Author 

Born on the 10th December 1830, in Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson is an American poet and is considered to be one of the most important and influential figures in American literature. Dickinson’s poetry is characterized by its unconventional use of punctuation, capitalisation, and form. Her work often explores themes such as death, nature, love, and the human experience. Her language is rich with metaphor, symbolism, and vivid imagery, and her concise and enigmatic verses continue to captivate readers with their depth and complexity. Some of her famous poems are  I taste a liquor never brewed, I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, I’m Nobody! Who are you?, ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers, and A Bird, came down the Walk. Her contribution to American literature has grown in recognition over time, solidifying her legacy as a poetic pioneer. 


This is a short poem comprising only 8 short lines. All of them are equal in length, and the poet has made use of em dashes, which create a halting rhythm The poem has also made use of enjambment. 

Lines 1- 4

Come slowly—Eden

Lips unused to Thee—

Bashful—sip thy Jessamines

As the fainting Bee—


The speaker addresses Eden, a symbolic paradise, and urges it to approach the speaker slowly. The speaker admits that they are unused or inexperienced and thus, want to experience the heavenly state gradually. The speaker highlights that they feel bashful in this whole encounter as they take the first taste of Eden, which is compared to the flower of Jessamines. 


The first stanza begins with empathetic commands- the speaker is very hesitant since this is a new experience for them. This poem can also be a representation of a sexual relationship that a woman shares with her partner. Considering how she is new to the whole thing, she feels hesitant and asks her partner to be slow and steady. There are a number of dashes used , that create a slow pace, which represents a woman’s hesitance towards entering a romantic relationship. Thus, Eden might also signify a state of sexual pleasure for the women. Another interesting thing to note is that the flowers of Jessamines symbolize romance, love, sensuality but also purity and innocence. This strengthens the image of a woman being intimate for the first time. 

Lines 5-8

Reaching late his flower

Round her chamber hums—

Counts his nectars—

Enters—and is lost in Balms


The speaker next goes on to describe the phenomenon of a bee looking for nectar inside a flower. The bee reaches “his” flower late and circles around the chamber where the nectars are present. The bee circles around, creating a humming sound, perhaps symbolizing a careful exploration. The bee goes on to “count his nectars” enters the chamber and becomes lost in the soothing and healing balms of the flower,  which represents Eden. 


The second stanza is even more visual as the Bee reaches the flower it was seeking. The way in which the bee approaches the flower is very feminine and sexual. The imagery of the bee humming before entering the chamber is indicative of an act of sexual intercourse. This image is strengthened by the use of the word “Enters”. As the bee is “lost in the Balms” there is an indication of sexual pleasure that the person attains. Therefore, Eden becomes so deeply female and that spiritual bliss is presented as an entering into and drinking of the nectar of that divine Feminine