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“Two Butterflies went out at Noon”: Critical Detailed Analysis And Summary

The poet of “Two Butterflies Went Out at Noon”, Emily Dickinson is a renowned American poet. She has a unique style of articulation. Out of her 1775 poems, Dickinson deliberately did not provide any title to any of her poems. Thus, the first line of her every write-up became the title of honour.

The poem “Two Butterflies went out at Noon” by Emily Dickinson addresses vivid imagery that provides a continuous sense of belonging with nature. She was born on 10th December 1830, in Amherst and died in 1886.

In this poem, we will get to see Dickinson’s transcendent visionary which helped her to give the finest formulation to the structure of the poem. Such a sight initiated her to captivate the wonderful visionary accompanying the gifts which succoured her to create a new form of dramas additionally featuring the sight of poetic verse.

Two Butterflies went out at Noon: Summary

We find the speaker of the poem “Two Butterflies went out at Noon” reporting two butterflies who are flying out of the room fluctuating above the grange. The speaker dramatically formulates an imaginary outlet where the flight of the two butterflies alleviates out on a fascinating journey.

The readers while reading will come across an artistic dramatization sketched by the author herself to associate the spirit of humans with that of absorption of exact details of life.

The arrival of the butterflies where a mystery but the speaker could observe their presence. She was surprised by their sudden appearance in a fine after ‘noon’. Besides being mysterious they did not leave their location and the reader can only discover the two butterflies, by their count and cadence. Hence, their place of existence did not come of any help to the speaker.

It also fails to track down the observer whether she stood leaning against a wall while she was perceiving those butterflies or she was somewhere else. Such questions probably remain unanswered. If the speaker has witnessed the flight of the butterfly, then why is she not revealing the location of their arrival?

Slowly the speaker begins to unwrap the questions by stating that all the butterflies after their completion of lurching above the grassland initially stepped one step ahead towards the ‘Firmament’.

The two butterflies were then found reclining on a brace. At the next glance, they disappeared into the sphere of celestials just as they appeared suddenly from nowhere.

Her eyes physically failed to capture the sight of them but she deliberately states they probably have “rested on a Beam”. As they energize themselves on a shaft of sunlight the mystic eye of the speaker could easily encounter them. At the end of the first stanza, the readers understand the metaphorical comparison between her artistic thoughts to that of nature.

The speaker of the poem “Two Butterflies went out at Noon” is hardly reporting the physical appearance of the butterflies as she did not have any glance at them and it is only a formulation out of her contemplation that beholds the capability to appear without an exact notification and vanishing as per its convenience beyond the celestial sphere with such eloquence and celerity.

In the second stanza the speaker states although such a unique thought of the butterfly floating to the sea that never stopped visiting “any Port” if the actual existence of those two butterflies were known then their place of existence would surely have occupied a space in her poem. Unfortunately, the thoughts remained unnoticed by them as they never felt to appear in front of her mystic eye.

The speaker proceeds in the third stanza carrying her aesthetic thought and pouring more imagination into it to finally reach its conclusion. She wonders about their next step for the butterflies and suddenly she eludes the question acutely.

The final destination of the butterflies can be only identified by a few figures who have seen them. She intentionally throws a question toward them asking if someone has ever seen them then they must share their thoughts and deliver the message to her.

The whereabouts of the butterflies are so elegant and delicate that their information must attain a position in her mind which will further create an impact in her writings. Hence, due to a lack of information, the report occupies the drama.

The existence of such a creature might have faced collision with the obscure birds who would have further spoken about the whereabouts of the butterflies or even if a ‘merchantman’ in a ship have witnessed their flight ever, they would have conveyed their experience.

Besides witnessing such creatures, one should always remember that they are sublime and invisible which enables the capability to variegate in the celestial sphere. They can remain undetected through the sea, air, and empyrean. They perform so efficiently that the person who entertains the thoughts of the butterfly will accept the fact of remaining totally unnoticed by their behaviour unless she decides to design a fashionable poetical style to demonstrate them accurately.

Thus, the entire description seems to have emerged out of a dream that provides an aesthetic visionary throughout the poem.

Two Butterflies went out at Noon: Analysis

The poem “Two Butterflies went out at Noon” by Emily Dickinson commences by portraying a visionary of two butterflies. The speaker of the poem is visualizing their flight accelerating above an effusion nearby at noon trampling directly through the empyrean. The two butterflies then slowed down their flight and reclined on a ‘beam’.

Such a dream visionary of the author along with the fairytale of the two butterflies is aggregating contemplation among the readers. Dickenson metaphorically stretches an alluring comparison between the butterflies to that of human souls and such an elegant journey of spirits to paradise has been beautifully addressed in the poem by an emblematic representation of the two butterflies in the very first stanza.

In the next stanza, Dickinson is found elaborating her visions on what she has witnessed in her dreams. The voyagers or the folk have appeared sailing in the ‘shining sea” which is a metaphor and the butterflies are found relaxing on a brace.

Very elegantly Dickinson compares the shining of the sunlight to that from the immaculacy of the terrestrial sphere. Thus, the butterflies have not yet reached any port. It seems as if the poet is trying to sketch an idea where the butterflies have been directed towards perpetuity and there’s no guarantee of their return.

Dickinson’s sense of longing for a life of antiquity has been depicted very efficiently in the second stanza. Heading to the concluding stanza which contains anaphora in consecutive two sentences. Dickinson refers to a “distant bird” who might have witnessed the existence of the two butterflies.

The bird tends to live in distant zones especially in heaven as a result the bird plays a role of a messenger but is unable to acquire and deliver any information to the poet. Therefore, she thinks that the voyagers or ‘merchantmen’ sailing in the sea might bring any information that will enlighten her thoughts.

The usage of words like “ether sea” depicts the idea of paradise which is again a metaphor. The frigate is a ship that is very light weighed that initiates the ship to move quicker in the stream. Addressing the ‘on boarders’ she states that if any of them have met the folks in the ether sea then they must deliver the message to the poet first as she is striving to get the information of the two butterflies along with their location of existence.

Two Butterflies went out at Noon: Literary Device

Emily Dickinson in the poem “Two Butterflies went out at Noon” uses alliteration at the beginning by addressing the phrase “stepped straight”. The continuous repetition of the ‘s’ develops a ring sound in the mind of the readers. The phrase “shining sea” symbolically invokes an idea of heaven along with a structural implementation of inversion in the last line of the second stanza which attracted the minds of the readers thoroughly.

Finally in the last line “By merchantman” Emily Dickinson deliberately induces the poetic structure of metonymy very efficiently.

Two Butterflies went out at Noon: Theme

Sense of Belonging for love

In the poem “Two Butterflies went out at Noon” Emily Dickinson is found portraying her visions from a sense of belonging and agony. She addresses the pain by giving it a structural and astounding formulation where she is undergoing tremendous grief due to her lover who has fallen for another person. He has stopped loving her betraying all her emotions.

Their love might have been witnessed by a ‘Merchantman’ while sailing in the sea or a ‘distant bird’ while flying high above the sky. Emily Dickinson feels depressed about not receiving any information about whether he will ever return to her and requests them as they travel several places to deliver any message if they have been able to track their existence.

She has no intention of chasing but it would provide her with a sense of relief. Thus, she simply allowed her emotions to fill the blank pages to share her isolation and pain with the one who will read. She induces two butterflies whom she finds flying away from a farm crossing a tall tree over the cattle on a fine summer afternoon.

She can smell the elegant essence of the freshly chopped grass in the fields. She purposely introduces two butterflies in the poem referring to her lover and his new mate. She is awaiting to receive information of where they have gone as she is highly in need of love and could not undergo the pain that she would not receive any earthly pleasure from him further.

She tries to portray the exact pain that appears at the glimpse of perceiving the one you care for and love the most is with some other person. This work is referred to as a thought-enraging piece of art. Dickinson will initiate the readers to join the journey of the two butterflies ascending to perpetuity.


The poem “Two Butterflies went out at Noon” by Emily Dickinson is comprised of three stanzas where each stanza has an invocation of four rhyming sentences. The 4-line poetic scheme formulates an ABCD structure. The first stanza consists of both ‘stream’ and ‘beam’ which forms a rhyme scheme.

The metrical scheme is quite conventional. Dickenson willingly applies iambic tetrameter in the first and third lines of her poem and iambic trimeter in the second and fourth lines giving it an astonishing panorama.

Historical Context

The poem “Two Butterflies went out at Noon” first appeared in Dickinson’s collection of poetry in The Poems of Emily Dickinson in 1869.  She has successfully attracted a number of audiences and was considered one of the best American poets of the 19th Century. All the subtle contemplation of her mind assists the readers in recognizing the spirit of the poem.

Her distinctive approach along with her aesthetic poetic delicacy helped readers to undergo various stages of life. Generally, her poems are comprised of the theme of demise and iniquity.

It also hovers into the generate romanticism and the combination of the intangible elements generates an angelic poetical form. The work of the readers especially is to identify the hidden essence of Emily Dickinson’s poem and what compels her to form such an astonishing idea.


Why is Emily Dickinson famous among 19th-century poets?

Emily Dickinson was a renowned American poet known for her striking authentic poetry which initiates haunting a distinctive opinion and brilliance for its condensed compression.

What is the aphorism of the butterflies?

The butterfly in the poem “Two Butterflies went out at Noon” addresses a flying blossom who is in reverse a tethered butterfly. Existing in a sphere is not everything rather a person seeks an atmosphere that is filled with love and earthly pleasure. One must possess a bit of sunshine and freedom. Thus, love beholds the capability to travel wherever it pleases and it circulates happiness wherever it reaches just like a butterfly.