Now, this poem partakes of the imagery of being "twice-born" or, in Christian liturgy, "confirmed"--and if this poem had been written by Christina Rossetti I would be inclined to give more weight to a theological reading. But it was written by Emily Dickinson, who used the Christian metaphor far more than she let it use her. This is a poem of great pride--not pridefulness, but self-confirmation--and it is curious how little Dickinson's critics, perhaps misled by her diminutives, have recognized the will and pride in her poetry. It is a poem of movement from childhood to womanhood, of transcending the patriarchal condition of bearing her father's name and "crowing--on my Father's breast--." She is now a conscious Queen "Adequate—Erect/ With Will to choose, or to reject--."
From "Vesuvius at Home: The Power of Emily Dickinson," reprinted in On Lies, Secrets, and Silences (W.W. Norton, 1979)