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I like to see it lap the Miles

I like to see it lap the Miles

by Emily Dickinson

Lines 13-17 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Line 13

Then chase itself down Hill —

  • Freed from the tunnel, it eagerly goes downhill. This line has a light, playful quality.
  • But it also raises more questions about what the heck this thing is. How can something "chase itself"?

Line 14

And neigh like Boanerges —

  • The creature lets out a rumbling cry, or "neigh," which reminds us of its horse-like qualities from the first lines.
  • The speaker compares it to Boanerges, a somewhat Biblical name that means "son of thunder," and generally refers to a booming, loud preacher or public speaker.

Lines 15-17

Then — punctual as a Star
Stop — docile and omnipotent
At its own stable door —

  • At last, the creature stops, right on time, and placidly returns to its home, or "stable" (another horse reference to bear in mind).
  • What can this mysterious, super-powerful animal be? It's up to you, dear reader, to figure that out from all of these clues – Dickinson never comes right out and gives an answer. Want to know what we think? Check out "Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay."

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