“Heaven, If you are not here on Earth” is a poem by Emily Dickinson, a renowned American poet. In this poem, Dickinson contemplates the idea of heaven and expresses her longing for its presence on Earth. She explores themes of spirituality, existence, and the desire for a divine presence in everyday life. Read more 2nd PUC English Summaries.
Heaven, If you are not here on Earth Summary
Heaven, If you are not here on Earth Summary in English
This poem is the English version of ’Swargave, Bhoomiyoliradire Neenu’, a poem in Kannada, written by Kuvempu, one of the most revered poets of Karnataka.
The poem makes an attempt to give the reader a glimpse into the rationalistic outlook of the poet. The poet has tried to argue that concepts like ‘Heaven’, ‘God’, ‘Nymphs’ etc., are man’s creations. Entities like ‘Heaven’ and ‘God’ exist only on the Earth and you cannot find them anywhere else. The poet suggests that one should perceive divinity and enjoy the heavenly bliss in the company of Nature itself. The poet strongly believes that ‘Heavenliness and worldliness’ are not distinct or two separate entities and argues that there is no difference between worshipping or adoring Nature and worshipping or adoring God.
In the first two lines the poet addresses ‘Heaven’ and declares emphatically that if Heaven does not exist on the Earth where else can it be. It only means that the reader needs not look for ‘Heaven’ in the skies; if at all there is an entity called ‘Heaven’ one must find it on the earth only and nowhere else.
The poet refers to our beliefs about ‘Gods’ and ‘heavenly nymphs’. The poet expresses his conviction that there is no distinct or substantial entity called ‘God’ and it is Man himself who is God. Similarly, there exist no entities called ‘heavenly nymphs’. He firmly believes that we ourselves are the nymphs, and the nymphs are to be found nowhere else but on this earth only.
The poet wants to dispel the popular notion that gods and nymphs live in heaven. The poet, who wants to dismiss such beliefs, tells the reader that we ourselves should become gods and nymphs. The poet wants us to give up our belief that we go to heaven after death where we find gods and nymphs.
The poet tries to introduce us to the different forms or parts of heaven that exist on the earth. He presents a mesmerizing picture of ‘Nature’ in its pristine form. The poet states that the ‘bliss’ that we experience when we look at the streams that are leaping down, roaring, from the top of the hills, the waves that come rolling across the seas carrying surf at their edges, the tender rays of sunlight falling on the vast expanse of green forests and the gentle sun warming up the earth make this Earth, ‘Heaven’.
The poet refers to the beauty of the harvest season and the moonlit night. He declares that one enjoys heavenly bliss when one watches the splendour of harvest and the moonlit night. The poet ends the poem saying that the poet who imbibes this heavenly bliss, spreads the nectar of Heaven through his poetry on this earth.
A poet is endowed with a higher degree of imagination and sensibility. With these qualities, the poet appreciates nature’s beauty and in turn, the poet enables others to behold heaven on earth.
To sum up, the poet argues that we do not need to seek heaven after death, but can enjoy heavenly bliss even when we are alive, if only we have the ‘eyes’ to see ‘Heaven’ on this earth. ’Heaven’ exists only on the earth and nowhere else. One is sure to enjoy the pleasures of heaven when one looks at the splendour of Nature. The poet urges the reader to perceive the tremendous energy that lies underneath the physical beauty of Nature. This idea can be taken as the message of the poem.
In conclusion, Emily Dickinson’s poem “Heaven, If you are not here on Earth” poignantly conveys the poet’s yearning for a tangible connection between the earthly and the divine. She reflects on the spiritual void that can exist in everyday life and the profound longing for a heavenly presence to fill it. Through her lyrical verses, Dickinson prompts readers to contemplate the intersection of the sacred and the mundane, leaving them with a sense of spiritual longing and mystery.