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Astronomy/Celestial Bodies

Symbol Analysis

While this concept only shows up very briefly in the poem's final stanza, it strikes us as an interesting one. Dickinson's comparison of the train to living, earthly creatures (like a horse) puts it in the frame of our environment and our natural world, but this last comparison to a star makes the train seem otherworldly, as though it has a kind of alien life of its own.

  • Line 15: The simile comparing the train to a star speaks again to its power; the trains moving along the railway are a manmade equivalent to the celestial bodies (sun, planets, stars) that move predictably through the heavens. The train is "punctual as a star" – which is to say, as punctual (steady and on time) as the most reliable thing in our known universe.
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