This curious, compacted lyric is one of a group of poems that form a distinct category in the work of two Victorian women poets, Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti. Such lyrics speak directly to and about the psyche, expressing and querying feelings that are deliberately abstracted from any reference to, or analysis of, the social causes of psychological states. They attempt to escape immediate or specific social determination, a project that cannot be fmally realised since all representation as such must exist within a cultural discourse. Most of Dickinson's verse, and the larger part of Rossetti's, exclude the social in this way; but in this particular sub-genre their poetry also employs atypical forms of imagery. Instead of straightforward metaphorical constructions, comparisons of like to unlike (as in the metaphysical mode for which Dickinson is famous, or the more traditional late Romantic style preferred by Rossetti), these lyrics are marked by their use of synecdoche, where the part stands for the whole, and metonymy, where the images are narratively or associatively related rather than expressly compared.2 Images and their meanings are left dangling, as in 'To fill a Gap' where 'Gap', 'Other', 'Abyss' and 'Air' are not meant as metaphors for each other but as substitutes. 'Gaps' are caused by absence and loss and can only be described through an articulation which opens rather than blocks the 'Abyss'.