Wild Nights! Wild Nights!
Wild Nights! Wild Nights! may come as a surprise to readers who have thought of Emily Dickinson as the Amherst recluse, purposely rejecting life, including thoughts of romance, for the “higher calling” of art. Moreover, the poem proves decidedly up-to-date in its erotic celebration of love by way of imagery easily understood by a generation exposed to Freud. Even at the time it was published, Dickinson’s friend and editor, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, expressed anxiety lest unscrupulous minds should read into the poetry more than the innocent Dickinson had intended. Yet the fact is that “Wild Nights—Wild Nights!” is but one of many poems Dickinson composed on the subject of love, several of them equally explicit.