“Heaven” – is what I cannot reach!, Emily Dickinson briefly yet delightfully conveyed her meaning of personal happiness which generally serves as a reminder of simple joys of living. As the poem initiates with “Heaven” – is what I cannot reach! / The Apple on the Tree — ”, it readily communicates to the reader what the picture of ‘heaven’ is in Dickinson’s thought. Though to the common knowledge of everyone, heaven is literally unreachable, the poet still designates to it a figurative essence in which heaven may be treated as something whose beauty is cherished from afar as long as the gap of distance made by the heights where the object of interest resides is not closed. So that this initial part of the poem proceeds with “Provided it do hopeless – hang — / That – “Heaven” is – to Me!”
The creation of “Heaven” – is what I cannot reach! May be recognized with unusual use of punctuations. Dickinson richly fills in her composition with dashes all throughout the poem, locating them where appropriate. This reflects a particular attitude with the manner the speaker ought to connect words so that they generate interjections somewhere and evoke how much ‘heaven’ means to her. She further engages in enumerating scenes that are evidently beyond her reach, stating with keen sentiment “The Color, on the Cruising Cloud — / The interdicted Land –”. Heaven, for the joyful speaker, must be a sight of paradise as she continues to express “Behind the Hill – the House behind — / There – Paradise – is found!” To this extent, a critical reader may be inclined to observe that the poet desires to render the main character to possess a playful imagination of hovering at a spot from the distant Hill where all she could possibly have at that moment is a treasure in mind or that ‘House’ at the other side of the ‘Hill’. Dickinson can be felt to draw an allusion whereby the idea of being brought to her setting of heaven depends on whether or not a huge barrier can be crossed since the ‘Hill’ in the second stanza occurs to divide the onlooker and the dream ‘House’.
Apparently, Dickinson’s heaven is found within the realm of this planet and need not be that which is conventionally associated with the cosmic bodies or the spiritual world. As long as there exists a great distance to be covered, either by longitude or latitude, between a dreamer and the dream, then this situation gives birth to the notion of heaven. Besides this, nevertheless, the literary piece also presents a theme that implicitly holds in regard the significance of patience and hope. ‘Apple’ in the first stanza is a fruit on a tree that is expected to fall anytime, according to the speaker’s tone and mention of ‘hopeless’. A reader can think of such word more disposed to function as a metaphor for the time when the ripened fruit loosens up to break off its branch and be caught by the person who lies in wait beneath it. At any period, she can choose to pick the apple but she is rather found in the state wherein course of nature works to make the red delectable fruit meet her sense of touch in reality once it falls down due to gravity.