All I Have to bring today cover image featuring Emily Dickinson

All I have to Bring Today: Complete Analysis

What do you give to someone you love? Do you give them your heart, your mind, your body, and your trust? Or would you rather simply say you love them and do nothing to make them feel so? This is something that is discussed in the poem “It’s All I Have to Bring Today” by Emily Dickinson. 

The poem has no title, so the first line of the poem became the title of the poem, i.e., “It’s all I have to bring today”, and it is through the poem that we get to know what the poet has to offer. She offers maybe everything that is in her sight or her thoughts, therefore all the meadows, the fields and the bees in the garden are all that she has to give. 

All I have to Bring Today

It’s all I have to bring today—

This, and my heart beside—

This, and my heart, and all the fields—

And all the meadows wide—

Be sure you count—should I forget

Some one the sum could tell—

This, and my heart, and all the Bees

Which in the Clover dwell.

Summary and Meaning

The poem starts abruptly when the poet says, “It’s all I have to bring today”, we can only wonder as to what she meant with that line. But as we read ahead, we start getting an idea about the meaning of the poem. 

The poet starts by saying that everything she had with her, she has brought to give. But give it to whom? She starts naming everything that’s with her.

There is a peculiar way Dickinson describes the things she has brought with her. All the lines where the “things” are mentioned start with “this”. What is this mysterious thing, we do not know. 

What is “this”, her body? Or this poem? Then she adds by saying that she has also brought her heart with her and everything she has or she owns, which is all the meadows and the fields around. Everywhere the eyes can gaze, it is there with her. 

Now comes a twist in the poem, she asks the readers to count all the things she has brought because she might forget the number of things to give, implying that there are so many of them.

This line can be read ironically, because Dickinson has named all the things which cannot be counted, as in can all the trees in the meadow be counted? Can all the animals and insects grazing on the field be counted?

Additionally, she tells the readers to count and “sum”, which is an impossible task, letting the readers know that if what she has brought today may seem less then why don’t we start counting it and adding it?

In the repeated line “This, and my heart,”she says that she has brought all the bees that reside in the “clover”. But, can we count the bees that reside in the clover?

Clover is a typical three-lobed leaf, and with this three-leaf clover has she been referred to as the Trinity? Explaining how not only has she given her heart, and all the meadows, fields, and bees, but she has also brought her faith with her.

Analysis

It’s all I have to bring today—

This, and my heart beside—

This, and my heart, and all the fields—

And all the meadows wide—

Dickinson starts the poem with, “It’s all I have to bring today—”, maybe indirectly telling that she has brought herself there today. Then, she continues by saying “This”, it can be inferred that either she is referring to the poem or everything she owns, or both.

After that, she moves on and adds another thing to the list which is of utmost importance, i.e., “my heart”, symbolizing the love and affection that she has brought with her. Now, if we read the word “beside” in the next line like, “Besides, This, and my heart”, then we understand that the poet used the word “beside” to indicate “aside” or “not only that”. 

Then she adds another element to the list which is all the fields and all the meadows, referring to nature and the Creation of God. Because fields and meadows are not restricted, they are wide and full of life.

Be sure you count—should I forget

Some one the sum could tell—

This, and my heart, and all the Bees

Which in the Clover dwell.

Line 5 and 6 is an important line where Dickinson tries to connect with the readers by telling them to make sure they start counting, in case she forgets anything that she brought today.

She tells us to be sure and count and then add them all so that we could tell what all she has brought. Then, she repeats the words, “This, and my heart,” and then she adds all the “bees” that “dwell” in the clover.

Maybe here she has used a simile to represent the three-lobed clover leaf and trinity. Maybe here she has tried to tell the readers that not only all the meadows, fields, and bees, but she has also brought her faith and trust to give.

All I Have to Bring Today Poem by Emily Dickinson

Literary Devices

The literary devices used in the poem, “It’s all I have to bring today” are:

Enjambment– The poet has used enjambment throughout the poem, forcing the readers to move on to the next line to complete the meaning of the previous one. Here are a few examples:

This, and my heart, and all the fields—

And all the meadows wide—

Be sure you count—should I forget

Some one the sum could tell—

This, and my heart, and all the Bees

Which in the Clover dwell.

Alliteration– The poet has used Alliteration in the following lines:

This, and my heart, and all the fields—

And all the meadows wide—

Be sure you count—should I forget

Some one the sum could tell—

Conclusion

In this poem, the poet has tried to offer everything she has or possesses, but who is she offering all this to? Is she offering herself, her heart, the fields, the meadows, and the bees to God? But, if so, why would she offer something that is already the creation of God?

I believe that this poem, as simple as it sounds, is quite the opposite. After reading this poem, the readers are left with a question in their mind, wondering for whom did she bring all this?

Some might believe that maybe for a person she loves, maybe she has devoted herself so much to that person, that she is offering her heart, her passion, her love, her faith, and her trust all to that person.

We can only wonder, while she wrote what she felt. Therefore, this poem has etched onto our minds, and maybe that is the reason it was written, to be remembered and pondered upon.

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