(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886 / Amherst / Massachusetts)

The Bustle In A House

The bustle in a house
The morning after death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon earth,--

The sweeping up the heart,
And putting love away
We shall not want to use again
Until eternity.

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Comments (7)

Is solemnest of industries Enacted upon earth, - I agree, it has become a customary practice to bustle in a house on somebody's death mostly because it is a custom though some attend the funeral with real love and respect... The sweeping up the heart, And putting love away We shall not want to use again Until eternity.....and forcing the heart to mourn putting away love is dramatically fake which should be stopped.....Emily you are for ever great The explanation below by Nancy also sounds right
.......these words capture the atmosphere perfectly ★
What an amazing poem
I know this poem is about the death of a person, but the first two lines of the second stanza helped me grieve when one of our dogs passed away.
Adam, I am sure you have all the information you needed to analyse this poem. I taught 11th grade American Literature before I retired. I remember so well reading this poem to my class after my mother died suddenly at the age of 43. When I read the poem, I felt all the things I had felt the morning after her death. As far as analysis goes, I think the main idea is that life has to go on, the house has to be cleaned, etc but the atmosphere the morning after death is solemn and painful. The line that most affected me was 'the sweeping up the heart' (sweep up the hearth) and the putting things away that will never be used again (the things my mother used that I would never see her use again or things I would never see her wear again or the songs I would never hear her sing again) had to be put away like the things in any house that have to be put away so daily life can go on. I know this is too late to be of help to you but I just needed to share my experience from from reading this poem the first time over 40 years ago.
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