Embraced by Darkness: On Dickinson’s "When Night Is Almost Done…"

Originally published 2006-02-23.

When Night Is Almost Done…
Emily Dickinson

When Night is almost done –
And Sunrise grows so near
That we can touch the Spaces –
It’s time to smooth the Hair –

And get the Dimples ready –
And wonder we could care
For that old – faded Midnight –
That frightened – but an Hour –


Light is not what reveals truth, for we do our best to appear prim & proper in it.

It is only night that sees our true selves, a night which blankets us with darkness, enfolding us with sleep.

We were once scared of this night – once we thought the darkness hid some ominous things that were bent on hurting us. We thought day was safe because of the pleasantries given to us in the brightness.

But then we grew older and began to want love, and eagerly awaited night, which we learned to embrace wholly and fearlessly.

Yet some of the old childhood fear remains in another form: we don’t immediately recognize night itself as a lover. As we get older, though, as we fade away, we get closer to it another way, a way predicated on an immutable truth that wasn’t always the unloveliest thing we faced.

There was another truth had during night, a truth connected with the most certain thing, a truth that could fade away or be proved false.

1 Comment

  1. Hello. I need compelete summary of november night poem of Emily Dickinson.
    with faint dry sound,
    Like steps of passing ghosts,
    The leaves, frost crisped……………..

    Thank you

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