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To Imagination- Emily Bronte- Poem Summary


To Imaginationwritten by Emily Jane Bronte was published in 1846. She always calls her imagination as ‘My Darling Pain’. In this poem she considers imagination as a necessity in one’s sorrowful life. Imagination has the capacity to enlighten everything one beholds. All through the poem the poet expresses her gratefulness towards imagination and “it’s” i.e. imagination’s presence in human life.


When weary with the long day’s care,

And earthly change from pain to pain,

And lost, and ready to despair,

Thy kind voice calls me back again:

Oh, my true friend! I am not lone,

While then canst speak with such a tone!

So hopeless is the world without,

The world within I doubly prize;

Thy world, where guile, and hate, and doubt,

And cold suspicion never rise;

Where thou, and I, and Liberty,

Have undisputed sovereignty.

What matters it, that all around

Danger, and guilt, and darkness lie,

If but within our bosom’s bound

We hold a bright, untroubled sky,

Warm with ten thousand mingled rays

Of suns that know no winter days?

Reason, indeed, may oft complain

For Nature’s sad reality,

And tell the suffering heart how vain

Its cherished dreams must always be;

And Truth may rudely trample down

The flowers of Fancy, newly-blown.

But thou art ever there, to bring

The hovering vision back, and breathe

New glories o’er the blighted spring,

And call a lovelier Life from Death.

And whisper, with a voice divine,

Of real worlds, as bright as thine.

I trust not to thy phantom bliss,

Yet, still, in evening’s quiet hour,

With never-failing thankfulness,

I welcome thee, Benignant Power;

Sure solacer of human cares,

And sweeter hope, when hope despairs!


Firstly, the poet says how imagination gives her hope in despair. She says when she gets tired of the whole day with all the earthly pain and troubles; and when she goes to an extent of becoming hopeless; Imagination, her “true friend”, calls her. By that call she gets back her will to live and losses her loneliness.

Secondly, she compares earthly world and imaginary world. She says the world without her ‘inside’ world (i.e. imaginary world) is filled with despair. She doubly rewards her illusionary world. She personifies ‘imagination’ as ‘thy’. In that world cunningness, hatred, doubtfulness, suspicion and all the evil emotions never get to rise. It is a world where Imagination, She and Liberty will remain in an inseparable sovereignty.

Thirdly, she speaks of an imaginary possibility where the world that has danger, guilt and darkness around can be felt entirely luminous. This can be made possible by our heart which is bound by bosom by imagining a bright untroubled sky that is warm with ten thousand mingled rays of suns which know any winter days.

Fourthly she speaks on the rude nature of reality and truth. She says reason complains and nature’s reality is sad as it tells us all, how vain it is to cherish our dreams. But such ruthless truth can be trampled down by the fantasy of the newly blossomed flowers.

Fifthly, the poet says how imagination have always remained with her ‘always and forever’ and made impossible possibilities. She says fantasy balances her life, makes her blighted spring glorious and even brings out a lovelier life out of the death. It also whispers with a divine tone and makes the real world luminous as the imaginary world.

Finally, she praises the qualities of fantasy. She says she does not trust the spirit version of it as it is abstract. Yet in the evening (i.e. in the end of the day) at the quite hours she would be grateful to it (she says she has never failed to feel thankful to it.) She welcomes “it” the one with gracious power, the peacemaker to the human souls, a sweet hope giver that makes life meaningful when hope tries to fade.

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