Study Guide

We Grow Accustomed to the Dark Stanza 4

By Emily Dickinson

Stanza 4

Lines 13-14

The Bravest – grope a little –
And sometimes hit a Tree

  • Some folks deal with uncertainty the way that someone might walk into the night. They feel around, “groping” to see what’s in front of them; they don’t let the uncertainty hold them back.
  • Sometimes, these people get a little emotionally hurt, like someone walking into a tree that they can’t see might get hurt. 
  • She calls these folks the “Bravest.”

Lines 15-16

Directly in the Forehead –
But as they learn to see –

  • They might get hit in the forehead because they were being brave, but still, they learn to see through the darkness.
  • So if the darkness is a metaphor for the uncertain… is she saying that by not being afraid of uncertainty, some folks learn to adjust to it (even if they might get a few bruises along the way)?

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