The one the other will absorb –
As Sponges – Buckets – do –
Notice the blunt physicality of the image. Here and throughout the poem, Dickinson depicts mental experience in concrete, material terms: as the product of a “Brain” (not a “Mind”) that can be held, handled, weighed. This highlights the central paradox of the poem (how can a relatively small object be vaster than the universe it’s in?) and may hint at a generally materialist worldview.
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