I shared your question with a spokesperson at the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. They want to assure you that there is no one right answer for how a sexual assault survivor should cope to move forward. You can call and talk to a counselor at the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-HOPE (4673); they can listen to your story, review your options now and also connect you with a local counselor and support group. RAINN also has an online “chat” feature available, 24/7.
That immorality is the goal is hinted at in the first stanza, where “Immortality” is the only other occupant of the carriage, yet it is only in the final stanza that we see that the speaker has obtained it. Time suddenly loses its meaning; hundreds of years feel no different than a day. Because time is gone, the speaker can still feel with relish that moment of realization, that death was not just death, but immortality, for she “surmised the Horses’ Heads/Were toward Eternity –.” By ending with “Eternity –,” the poem itself enacts this eternity, trailing out into the infinite.
Emily Dickinson faced many obstacles, both in her family and in the world at large, that prevented her from gaining fame during her lifetime. Her father, while he believed in the necessity of a good education for every girl, thought poetry frivolous and unimportant. Dickinson was likely cognizant of the fact that her innovative poetry would baffle most editors and publishers. The poetry of her day followed a series of strict conventions, all of which her own poetry flouted. Dickinson's almost shockingly unconventional work struck Thomas Wentworth Higginson, for one, as sloppy and inept. For a time, Higginson, whom Dickinson admired, actively discouraged Dickinson from seeking publication. Dickinson had no obvious outlet for her work. Only seven of her poems were printed during her lifetime, most in the local newspaper. Seven was a miniscule percentage; Dickinson produced around 1,800 poems in total. The fact that Dickinson persevered in the face of such discouragement shows that either pure love of art, a conviction of her own genius and future fame, or a combination of both, spurred her to keep writing.