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The Door

Symbol Analysis

The door of the palace represents the mouth of a human head. Spirits, who symbolize human speech, come streaming steadily out of the door. Just like the windows, the door is one of the ways that we can get a sense of what is happening inside the palace-head. It gives us a way into the secrets of the human mind, which is finally what this poem is all about.

  • Lines 25- 26: This is where the whole "palace as symbol for human head" thing really clicked in for us for the first time. When we read about the "door" with pearls (just like teeth) and rubies (just like lips) in it, it started to dawn on us. Maybe you're a little quicker on the draw than us, but this was the image that helped us to unlock the riddle at the heart of this poem.
  • Line 46: Now the door-mouth, which used to be beautifully bedazzled with gemstones, has turned "pale." That's yet another sign that all is not well in the world of the palace-head and that some kind of sickness (mental or physical) has started to take over.

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