Emily Dickenson: One Need Not Be a Chamber to Be Haunted Essay

One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.

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Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one’s own self encounter
In lonesome place.

Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror’s least.

The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O’erlooking a superior spectre
More near.

first stanza: basically is saying you don’t need to be a chamber to be haunted because you carry your own haunted place with you. second stanza: Far safer, of a midnight meeting external ghost = it is safer to see a ghost (physically, externally, on the outside) than to confront the interior, which is your mind. second to last stanza: it is much more dangerous to look inside yourself than looking on the outside. nothing’s scarrier than our inner selves.

last stanza: you can’t keep out the major intruder which is part of yourself.

Seems like the poem speaks about her mind being haunted.

First stanza- Need not be a house or a chamber to be haunted, it could be even a mind haunted, that has corridors surpassing the substance in her.

Second stanza- The midnight meeting of the external ghost is far safer than the interior (locked in a room ), confronting whiter host ( the poet herself).

Third stanza- Far safer is the other world through the abbey medium than the to encounter one’s one own mind in a lonesome moonless place.

Fourth stanza- The herself behind her exterior mask may even startle the assassin hid in her apartment and he will the horror’s least.

Fifth stanza- The prudent carries a revolver and gaurds the house, overlooking the greater phantom (poet) is more near him.


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