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“Publication- is the Auction”: Critical Detailed Analysis And Summary

Poet of “Publication is the Auction”, Emily Dickinson emerged in the 19th century, immensely attracting the readers with her bold artistic visualization which stands out as unique in the field of poetry. She has always been powerful with her proclamation which has automatically generated her write-up to touch the soul of millions of people.

The “Publication- is the Auction” by Emily Dickinson is a discussion browned about the works which are published. The poem begins addressing the terrible and afflictive scenery undergone before a publication takes place while the second stanza very efficiently rebuts such an assertion.

Third stanzas proceed with an approach where the qualities that are being provided by God should be kept intact but just in the next moment, the poem is being upgraded with another thought where the concept of circulation of our works perfectly signifies that we are spreading those visionaries that God provided us and by performing such we are neither dishonouring ourselves nor him. Her writings were enormously quirky which rapidly enabled her to gain the sight of the bibliophiles.

Dickinson successfully finished writing this poem in 1863 and got published posthumously just like her other write-ups.

Publication- is the Auction: Structure

The poem is astonishingly composed of four stanzas which have been further nurtured artistically by incorporating four lines in each verse carefully placing a soft rhyme in the first and fourth stanzas of the poem subsequently unwrapping the perfect rhyming scheme in the second and third verse equivalently.

Publication- is the Auction: Summary

The poem artistically describes the feelings and emotions of an author towards her own work. Emily Dickinson has tried to uphold her imageries in a professional sphere where she will be able to publicize it sharing her joyous and moments of agony with her readers subsequently assisting and assuring them with information about all the ups and downs undergone by the human soul is not only addressed by her supporters.

Whenever they have felt isolated or alone, they must enrich their mind that it is not only them who have gone through such a realm efficiently, authors have equally undergone such pain.

Thus, they are never alone. Writers do it by selling their piece of work selecting the highest bidder which helps them to gain their living wages and certainly refilling their minds with purity and wisdom as whatever their visionaries might be, the writings have gained a path through which it will initially buy the concentration of people installing new lanes to reach further minds of bibliophiles.

Dickinson begins the poem by placidly arguing with the entire publication procedure which is a ‘foul’, a method that allows one to gain profit by selling one’s mind or eventually the ‘air’ that one inhales for existing. The speaker also asserts that all imageries or inspirational thoughts gather from God and should be kept within oneself.

Authors are a repository through which the almighty’s elegance and perceptions flow and initiating such intelligence on a piece of text initially adding a price marks a degradation of the scale of both the author and their makers.

Emily Dickinson begins the poem by stating that publishing a piece of write-up means marketing an individual’s intellect to the apical bidder.

She bravely searches for the reason behind such ‘auction’ and equivalently she finds out the cause that they might have received the courage as they have faced poverty and immeasurable grief which she straightforwardly considers as an excuse because her intellect identifies that whatever the circumstance might be a writer should always choose the path of purity and remain virtuous before dying and firmly departing their confined garret rooms for that aesthetic creator to attain than to gain profit from our elegant white ‘snow’ which Dickinson very alluringly depicts the writings of the writers.

If calculated logically the visionaries through which a writer designs a structure has been given by God. Therefore, it belongs to him and the authors do not possess any right to sell them as human souls are merely a manifestation of those thoughts, and taking any actions of sharing them for gaining publicity would be an indirect attempt to sell the air that we all inhale.

Dickinson wonderfully concludes the poem by stating that a writer’s functionality. She delicately elaborates on a writer’s job where they are supposed to deliver the heavenly gift of God and the blessings through their projects and for the human spirit it is a count of degradation to even think of putting a price tag on God’s generosity and benediction.


Writing as Divine and its Publication is Humiliating

Dickinson in the poem very placidly upholds her conceptions that selling one’s intellect is degrading a soul as adding value and selling them to attain a public sphere certainly paves the way for the editors or bibliophiles to critique one’s imagination. Furthermore, the thoughts tend to appear from God in the first place considering human souls a vessel where the wisdom of the almighty pass through, and no writer has the right to sell them to gain finances.

She never says writing is a hideous attempt but profiting from them is a process equivalent to selling the air that one breathes to exist which is often nonsensical, defiling both the writer and the maker.

The speaker vigorously keeps on comparing publication to that of selling off an individual’s intellect to the huge bidder and the nearest justification of attempting such a ‘foul’ activity can be due to poverty, but the speaker simultaneously insists that it is much better to run white “unto the white creator,” which signifies that is better to remain unpublished rather than gaining the tag of a wicked person and she does not want to detach the opportunity upon meeting the almighty in Heaven.

Thus, she wants to wrap herself in purity. Selling one’s write-up addresses the work which ensures the quality to get tarnished and as the inspiration, as well as the creativity, is a gift of God then certainly the human soul is only responsible for the bodily or worldly elaboration of such aesthetic and divine thoughts additionally portraying writers as mere merchants of God.

The writers are simply delivering a package that has been assigned to them by God through a simple accession of thoughts into their minds and slowly filling the white sheet with those astonishing images.

Selling such write-ups is just like investing an individual’s ‘Snow’ or paving a lane to attain profit from an initial thing that stretches a connection of people to the deity. The “Royal Air” appropriately belongs to no particular person in the sphere yet benefits every person and it is very essential for a human soul to exist, incredibly passing in and out of the lungs.

Dickinson wonderfully concludes the poem by upholding the potentiality of a human being who should never be insulted by putting value to the thoughts provided or poured into one’s intellect by God eventually. Thus, for the speaker, the entire procedure of publication is sacrilege.


The poem “Publication is the Auction” introduces an envision of a speaker wonderfully emphasizing the procedure of a publication. Dickinson thinks that when a writer decides to publish their work in a huge sphere it is nothing less than auctioning one’s own intellect. For her, it is quite repulsive to intentionally add a price tag on someone’s imagination certainly proclaiming it as living wages but poverty cannot justify such hideous auctioning off an author’s intelligence.

Dickinson astonishingly induces her speaker for stating her imagination comfortably.

We find the readers figuring out the repellent act and describing it stating that it is not something appreciative to sell one’s mind auctioning it to the highest bidder and imagining oneself to be valiant for attaining money gloriously by performing such activity rather a writer must possess pride when they swallow the capability to keep their ideas private where not even penury could strike her mind to accomplish the path of auctioning to publish her writings which has been successfully accomplished after logically combining aesthetic structural devices for its utmost formulation.

In the next stanza, the speaker artistically designs Dickinson’s poem revealing that writers should rather choose the path of leaving the world instead of acquiring the domain of earning cash by publishing her works and if she had to die without allowing her projects to reach publicity, she would not have any trouble or confusion to allow her intellect to directly “go White- Unto the White Creator,” which reflects her strong image apparently where she is found unfolding her impeccable creations face to face lethargically with the maker.

If by any chance she could save herself from such an auction by avoiding securing any money from the creative thoughts provided by her creator for successfully completing her works then automatically her clean white catalogue would be generated and furthermore, she has literally no right to make cash off her ‘Snow’, which reflects her unpublished personal information and thoughts that have been induced in her writings as they have no flaws, certainly, her thoughts that are penned in a white sheet are extraordinarily pure.

Thus, publishing them would be unusual. They must be kept close to the writer’s soul and if she decides to sell them for profit then that would be definitely blemished.

The third stanza cultivates the thought that her ideas have been provided by the almighty and therefore she does not behold any right to sell them to attain a profit. In the next line, the speaker keeps on scrutinizing the system where she firmly believes that publishing one’s imagination is degrading a soul and can also be referred to as the prostitution of one’s existence. The term ‘Corporeal’ in Dickinson’s poem stretches a reference to the body and not the human spirit.

Thus, very efficiently she addresses publication as prostitution claiming that it is the fornication of a human soul to enable one’s thought for marketing but she also fruitfully compares the idea of making money eventually from her own imageries to that of the ideas of an individual’s royalty attaining the strength to sell the essential air that the writers inhale to exist in the strenuous sphere.

But again, she tends to address her previous account where she had already mentioned that all opinions and artistic ideas are provided by God and therefore, she believes that even a reader does not have the capability to supply ideas to a price tag which exactly takes place when someone takes an attempt to publish their own sort of writings where their own thoughts are incorporated.

Dickinson in the fourth stanza suggests that within the little package of her write-up the qualities can only be captivated by the merchant. She is the one who generates the thoughts from the mind directly to the white sheet. Therefore, if she has to sell her write-ups then she has to attain the power of a ‘merchant’ and not the maker as the ideas appear from the “Heavenly Grace.”

The concluding lines are designed to attain the reader’s intellect very sublimely where the speaker wonderfully portrays the only reason behind writing her thoughts in the paper is because of the grace that has come down to her from heaven providing brilliant thoughts and concepts. Every writer who has undergone such should keep in mind that the ‘Human Spirit’ should never be brought down and dishonoured by enabling others to attain finances by just adding a price tag on his or her personal views or creative thoughts.

One should not allow any publisher, editor, or bibliophiles to critique her writings that is she must remain bold and must not publicize her thoughts in such a way that they will be able to acquire the opportunity to critique her soul as per their convenience. No one has the right to objectify her writings. It can be either good or bad but the thoughts and emotions are pure and aesthetic simply belonging to her.

Dickinson has never taken credit for her works instead always praised the almighty claiming that it was the God who provided her with such an amazing thought in the first instance for which she could logically formulate such delicate works and to think about attaining money from these write-ups would be a bold act of creating defiance against the Almighty.

She even refers it to prostitution stating that it would be immoral certainly no less than selling her figure to the highest bidder than to acquire the strength to sell her imagination.

The poem “Publication is the Auction’’ significantly provides an insight into Dickinson’s views especially emphasizing the reason behind her restrictions to let other bibliophiles read her poetry. She felt that the thoughts she wrote on a white paper were initially given to her by God that needed to be cultivated with the utmost care by keeping close to herself.


What is the theme of the poem ‘Publication is the Auction‘ by Emily Dickinson?

Dickinson has never taken credit for her works instead always of publication boldly addressed t by stating that it is utter degrading for the human soul to add a price tag on God’s benediction and sell it to the highest bidder. Thus, Dickinson’s theme of the poem sticks to writing as Divine and its Publication is humiliating and demeaning.