The Heart Wants What It Wants Quote: Unraveling Its Meaning

The Heart Wants What It Wants Quote
The Heart Wants What It Wants Quote

Have you ever felt an inexplicable pull towards love or a woman poet’s poems? You’re not alone. In her famous quote, “The heart wants what it wants,” Emily Dickinson encapsulates the enigmatic nature of human desires and the power of poetry. This simple yet profound statement speaks volumes about the complexity of our emotions and the hold they have over us.

Emily Dickinson’s poetry captures the essence of a woman poet following her heart, defying logic and reason. Her poems remind us that sometimes our hearts lead us down unexpected paths, challenging societal norms and expectations. By delving into the meaning behind her words, we gain valuable insights into the intricacies of human longing and passion. This essay explores the depth of Dickinson’s poetry.

Understanding why “the heart wants what it wants” can shed light on our deepest yearnings for love and expose the raw vulnerability that lies within each of us. So let’s embark on a journey to unravel the layers of this thought-provoking quote and explore its significance in deciphering the mysteries of our hearts, particularly in the context of themes found in poetry and nature.

Emotional and Illogical Nature of Human Desires: Linking to the Heart’s Desires

Human desires, driven by love and emotions, often defy logic and reason. Our desires are not always rational, but rather deeply rooted in our hearts. This emotional nature of human desires makes them intriguing and unpredictable, especially when exploring themes of love and woman through poetry.

Emotions, such as love and desire, have a powerful influence on our thoughts and actions. They can override logic and lead us towards unconventional paths. When we passionately desire something, it becomes the driving force behind our decisions, regardless of how irrational they may appear to others.

The heart’s desires, driven by love, are unique to each woman. Unlike rational decision-making processes, the heart follows its instincts and intuitions when it comes to children. It is guided by feelings rather than facts, making impulsive choices based on the face of love.

Understanding the emotional aspect of human desires, such as love and nature, helps us comprehend why people sometimes act against their better judgment in their work and face irrational or impractical choices. The heart wants what it wants, defying common sense.

Universal Appeal of the Quote: Relatability in Literature, Pop Culture, and Personal Experiences

The quote “the heart wants what it wants” holds a universal appeal for those who love poetry and nature. It resonates with people from various walks of life and has become a popular phrase referenced in literature, music, movies, and other forms of popular culture. This quote strikes a chord with many individuals because it speaks to the idea that our hearts have their own unique desires for love and poems inspired by nature.

The Heart Wants What It Wants Quote

In literature, this quote has found its way into numerous books and publications, including “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke. Rilke, a renowned poet, explores themes of love and personal growth through his correspondence with a young aspiring writer. In one letter, he writes about how the heart yearns for what it truly wants, despite societal expectations or rationality. This resonates with scholars studying poetry, such as the works of Emily Dickinson.

Similarly, in pop culture, this quote by Emily Dickinson has been featured prominently in songs and movies. Artists like Selena Gomez have used it as a powerful expression of love and longing in their music. The quote’s relatable nature allows listeners to connect with the emotions conveyed in these songs on a personal level, showcasing the enduring impact of Emily Dickinson’s love poems and poetry.

On an individual level, many people can relate to the sentiment expressed by this quote. It captures the essence of human relationships and the complexities they entail. Whether it’s pursuing a romantic relationship against all odds or following one’s passions despite societal pressures, individuals often find themselves torn between what their hearts want and what is expected of them in their poetry, poems, nature, and work.

Early Influences on Emily Dickinson’s Writing: Shaping the Heart’s Desires

Emily Dickinson, a renowned woman poet from Amherst, Massachusetts, was deeply influenced by her upbringing and early experiences. These factors, including her relationship with her mother Susan and the letters they exchanged, played a crucial role in shaping her understanding of desire and its expression in her poetry.

Emily Dickinson’s exposure to literature and philosophy greatly impacted her perspective on poetry and following one’s heart. Growing up in a family that valued education and intellectual pursuits, she had access to an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, and poems. This exposure allowed her to explore different ideas about desire and find inspiration for her own writing, including her famous letters.

The Dickinson family, particularly Emily’s brother Austin, played a significant role in fostering her passion for writing poems. Austin shared his sister’s love for poetry and encouraged her literary endeavors by exchanging letters. Their close relationship provided Emily with a supportive environment where she could freely express herself through words, including writing letters to her father.

Living in New England also influenced Emily Dickinson’s thoughts on desire. Surrounded by the beauty of nature, especially the vibrant colors of spring flowers, she found inspiration for her poems. The sights and sounds of Amherst brought forth a sense of wonderment that permeated many of her verses. In addition to her poems, Dickinson also exchanged letters with her close friend Susan.

Scholars have studied various editions of Emily Dickinson’s poems and letters to gain insights into her development as a poet. They have analyzed how she revised and refined her poetry before publishing or sharing them with friends like Susan. These examinations provide valuable clues about the evolution of Dickinson’s understanding of desire.

Literary Analysis: Is “My Verse… Alive?”

Emily Dickinson, a renowned poet, often contemplated the true essence of life captured in her poems. She questioned whether her poetry could truly convey the genuine emotions tied to human desires. In this analysis, we delve into how she explored desire through her poems and letters to Susan.

Emily Dickinson’s poetry was not just words on paper; it embodied her thoughts and emotions. She worked hard to capture desire’s essence within the confines of punctuation and structure, infusing life into every word she penned in her letters.

One notable aspect of Emily Dickinson’s exploration was her constant reflection upon whether her poems resonated with genuine human desires. She yearned for her verses to evoke an emotional response that mirrored the depths of longing experienced by individuals. Through introspection and self-doubt, she pushed herself to push beyond superficiality and tap into the core longings that define our humanity. In her letters, she often expressed her thoughts on life and death.

Sister Lavinia played a significant role in Emily Dickinson’s journey as a poet. Their correspondence allowed Emily to share her innermost thoughts and seek validation for her poetry. Lavinia’s support provided Emily with a sounding board for her ideas and an outlet for self-expression through her letters.

Family and Childhood: The Formation of Desires

Family dynamics play a significant role in shaping an individual’s desires from a young age. Our childhood experiences have a profound influence on what our hearts long for as adults. Understanding the impact of family influences can help shed light on our deepest desires, even years after losing a loved one. It’s remarkable how just one person’s presence and the letters they wrote can impact our desires even after their death.

  • Family dynamics contribute to shaping an individual’s desires from a young age. The interactions, relationships, and atmosphere within the family unit greatly impact a child’s perception of the world and their place in it. For example, a little girl growing up with an adventurous father who constantly seeks new experiences may develop a desire for exploration and adventure herself.

  • Childhood experiences influence what the heart wants as an adult. The formative years are crucial in molding our aspirations and passions. A child who excels academically due to supportive parents and quality education at school may develop a strong desire for knowledge and intellectual pursuits later in life.

  • Understanding family influences helps shed light on our deepest desires. By examining the familial environment we grew up in, we can gain insights into why certain desires resonate with us more than others. For instance, if seclusion was prevalent during childhood due to living far away from extended family members or friends, one might develop a deep longing for close-knit relationships as an adult.

The heart wants what it wants, but its preferences are often shaped by early experiences within the family unit. Exploring how family dynamics and childhood encounters mold our desires can provide valuable insights into understanding ourselves better as individuals. This understanding can be deepened through the study of one’s favorite poems and poetry, such as those written by Emily Dickinson.


In conclusion, the “heart wants what it wants” quote offers a thought-provoking reflection on the emotional and illogical nature of human desires. It resonates with people from all walks of life, finding universal appeal in literature, pop culture, and personal experiences. The quote’s origins can be traced back to early influences on writers like Emily Dickinson, who explored the depths of the heart’s desires through her poems, including one from Amherst.

Through literary analysis, we delve into the question of whether “My Verse… Alive?” – examining how our desires shape our creative expressions, especially in poetry. Furthermore, we recognize that family and childhood, like those of Emily Dickinson, play a significant role in shaping our desires for writing poems. They form the foundation upon which our longings are built, making them an integral part of our creative process.

By summarizing these key points, we gain a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding human desires and how they drive us forward in poems and poetry. This reflection prompts us to contemplate our own hearts’ yearnings, inspired by the works of Emily Dickinson, and consider how they influence our choices and actions.

Ultimately, this exploration of Emily Dickinson’s poetry invites you to embrace your own desires with authenticity and curiosity. It encourages you to listen to the whispers of her poems and pursue what truly brings you joy and fulfillment. So go forth fearlessly, for as Selena Gomez aptly put it: “The heart wants what it wants.”


What does "the heart wants what it wants" mean?

"The heart wants what it wants" is a phrase that encapsulates the idea that our deepest desires, like those expressed in poems by poets such as Emily Dickinson, are often driven by emotion rather than logic or reason. It suggests that there is an inherent power within us that guides our longings towards what brings us true happiness.

Where did the quote "the heart wants what it wants" originate from?

The quote "the heart wants what it wants" gained popularity through Selena Gomez's song of the same name released in 2014. However, similar sentiments have been expressed throughout history by various artists and thinkers, including Emily Dickinson, the renowned poet known for her profound and introspective poems, who recognized the sway of emotions in shaping our desires.

How does the quote relate to literature and pop culture?

The quote's relatability has made it a recurring theme in literature and pop culture. It speaks to the human experience of grappling with conflicting desires, making it a powerful tool for poets, like Emily Dickinson, to evoke emotions and connect with their audience through their poems. Additionally, it is also utilized by writers, musicians, and filmmakers to connect with their audience on a deeper level.

Can desires be influenced by our upbringing?

Yes, our family and childhood experiences, including the influence of Emily Dickinson's poems, play a significant role in shaping our desires. The values instilled in us during early life often influence what we long for and prioritize as adults. Our familial environment, along with the impact of Emily Dickinson's poems, provides the foundation upon which our desires are formed

How can reflecting on our heart's desires impact our lives?

Reflecting on our heart's desires, such as the poems of Emily Dickinson, allows us to gain clarity about what truly matters to us. By understanding the emotional underpinnings behind our longings for her poems, we can make more informed decisions aligned with our authentic selves, leading to greater fulfillment and happiness.

Is there any scientific evidence supporting the concept of "the heart wants what it wants"?

While the phrase is more metaphorical than literal, scientific research suggests that emotions, like those explored in the poems of Emily Dickinson, play a crucial role in decision-making processes. Studies have shown that gut feelings often guide choices before rational analysis kicks in, highlighting the influence of emotions on desire-driven decision-making.

How can I embrace my own desires authentically?

To embrace your own desires authentically, take time for self-reflection and introspection. Listen attentively to your inner voice without judgment or external influences. Trust your instincts and make choices that align with your true passions and values – this will lead you towards a life filled with genuine satisfaction and contentment. Don't forget to explore the beautiful poems of Emily Dickinson for inspiration and insight.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here