The poem tries to look at death in a positive way showing that life is a journey. In this poem, there are two different worlds, the familiar world and the unfamiliar world. The familiar world is connected with the house while the unknown world (deep eternity ) is the sea voyage. Emily tries to show the journey from the familiar world to the unfamiliar that is eternal. This brings out some sense of emotion in the poem.
The ocean is an adequate symbol for eternity and human mind. The reason is that eternity is an allusion of death by seeing the soul going past the houses and headlands and heading toward the ocean which is the place of eternity which is always as deep as the sea. In the human mind, the ocean is seen as our past life and, when you sail across the ocean, you will be able to acquire the firsthand experience.
The poem also tries to show that life is a very long journey and that its end is infinity (at the end of eternity there is a dash “eternity-”). This journey is towards death, and it is seen as enjoyable. For the “divine intoxication” to be achieved, one must do away with the familiar life.
The clue is to show the unafraid Jesus, Socrates, and Dr. King who take the risk of moving from a comfort zone (among the mountains) and decide to risk and head towards the ocean because they are sure their souls will be held by the sea where they will experience divine intoxication. Also, the use of the word “divine” directly shows that there is life after death, and it also shows the presence of God so there is no need to be afraid. Finally, in the poem, Emily points out that our intellectual mind cannot be able to understand the journey part of life but this can only be done by our inner hearts thus “divine intoxication” can only be achieved through death; so, we should sail towards it.