Study Guide

From Blank to Blank Time

By Emily Dickinson

Time

"From Blank to Blank—" isn't about, you know, time-y time. You won't get any big long discussions about the time slowly wearing somebody down or anything like that. Really, we ought to call this theme "timeless-ness." The speaker is trapped in a terrible dimension where time doesn't exist. The hours don't pass; everything is one long sprawling hour that never ends. Throughout, the speaker talks about this timeless place with a sense of desperation. She's a lady that'd kill for a little time to pass.

Questions About Time

  1. What images of timelessness are found in the poem?
  2. How does lack of the passage of time seem to affect the speaker's emotional state?
  3. Does the poem show time as good or bad thing? What parts of the poem support your answer?

Chew on This

The poem connects the theme of timelessness with the theme of isolation by equating both with a sense of meaninglessness in life.

The poem does show time passing for the speaker; it only seems like it isn't because her days feel totally empty—bad times.

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