Study Guide

We Grow Accustomed to the Dark Stanza 3

By Emily Dickinson

Stanza 3

Lines 9-10

And so of larger – Darknesses –
Those Evenings of the Brain –

  • Now we’re getting even more figurative. 
  • What’s “larger Darkness”? Could it mean something bigger and more overwhelming than the situations “We” faced earlier?
  • Whatever it is, it’s definitely something that happens within us: this darkness happens in the “Evenings of the Brain.” It’s all inside our mind.

Lines 11-12

When not a Moon disclose a sign –
Or Star – come out – within –

  • We are still inside our brains, and it’s dark in there.
  • It’s so dark that not even the moon is visible. 
  • Or the stars. Geez, we could really use that flashlight about now.
  • Notice the wordplay in line 12: the stars aren’t coming out in the sky, but rather “within.” We’re still inside our own minds; we’re within ourselves. She’s still using figurative language to talk about emotions.

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