Wild Nights – Wild Nights! Poem by Emily Dickinson Summary, Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English


“Wild Nights – Wild Nights!” is a poem written by Emily Dickinson. It is a poem that brings out emotions of love and desire. 

About the Poet:

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was a notable American poet. She is known for her often bold writing style. Famous works of hers include ‘“Hope” Is The Thing With Feathers’, ‘I Taste A Liquor Never Brewed’, and ‘Success Is Counted Sweetest’. 


This poem consists of 3 stanzas. They are in the form of quatrains. 

Analysis and Summary:

Stanza 1:

Wild nights - Wild nights!

Were I with thee

Wild nights should be

Our luxury!


The first stanza begins with an exclamation of “Wild nights – Wild nights!” They go on to state how if they were with “thee”, then such wild nights would become both of their “luxury”. 


The “Wild Nights” mentioned here have a direct sexual connotation. This is reinforced in the next line with a direct reference to “thee”, who ought to be the persona’s beloved. But, it also reveals a deep sense of longing as it can be understood they are presently not together. This stanza hence brings out the deep love and intimacy shared between the persona and their beloved.

Stanza 2:

Futile - the winds -

To a Heart in port -

Done with the Compass -

Done with the Chart!


Here, the persona states that to a “Heart in port”, the winds serve to be “futile”. Such a heart is done with the “Compass” and “Chart”.


In this stanza, a lot of nautical imagery can be observed, such as “winds”, “port”, “Compass”, and “Chart”. The phrase “Heart in port” is suggestive of a heart safely tucked away in a port or harbour. This gives rise to an image where the persona considers themselves to be a sailor. The phrase also sheds light on the personification of the “Heart”.  

Stanza 3:

Rowing in Eden -

Ah - the Sea!

Might I but moor - tonight -

In thee!


Here, the persona states that they are “Rowing in Eden”. They wish to “moor tonight/ in thee”. 


A biblical allusion to “Eden” or Paradise can be observed here. The contents here are in direct connection with the previous stanza– assuming the persona to be a “sailor”, they wish to “moor” in their beloved, their “port” or harbour. Added with the word “tonight”, the innuendo here is unmistakable. 


This is a beautiful poem. The poem manages to capture the physical intimacy between a couple even as it brings out their strong love.