“The eagerness with which the first volume of Emily Dickinson’s poems has been read shows very clearly that all our alleged modern artificiality does not prevent a prompt appreciation of the qualities of directness and simplicity in approaching the greatest themes,—life and love and death. That “irresistible needle-touch,” as one of her best critics has [...]
Emily Dickinson has come to be regarded as one of the quintessential poets of 19th century America. A very private poet with a very quiet and reclusive life, her poetry was published posthumously and immediately found a wide audience. While she echoed the romantic natural themes of her times, her style was much more free [...]
A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is To meet an antique book, In just the dress his century wore; A privilege, I think, His venerable hand to take, And warming in our own, A passage back, or two, to make To times when he was young. His quaint opinions to inspect, His knowledge to unfold On [...]
A wounded deer leaps highest, I’ve heard the hunter tell; ‘T is but the ecstasy of death, And then the brake is still. The smitten rock that gushes, The trampled steel that springs; A cheek is always redder Just where the hectic stings! Mirth is the mail of anguish, In which it cautions arm, Lest [...]
Within my reach! I could have touched! I might have chanced that way! Soft sauntered through the village, Sauntered as soft away! So unsuspected violets Within the fields lie low, Too late for striving fingers That passed, an hour ago.
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain.
Glee! The great storm is over! Four have recovered the land; Forty gone down together Into the boiling sand. Ring, for the scant salvation! Toll, for the bonnie souls, — Neighbor and friend and bridegroom, Spinning upon the shoals! How they will tell the shipwreck When winter shakes the door, Till the children ask, “But [...]
‘T is so much joy! ‘T is so much joy! If I should fail, what poverty! And yet, as poor as I Have ventured all upon a throw; Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so This side the victory! Life is but life, and death but death! Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath! And if, [...]
Soul, wilt thou toss again? By just such a hazard Hundreds have lost, indeed, But tens have won an all. Angels’ breathless ballot Lingers to record thee; Imps in eager caucus Raffle for my soul.
Our share of night to bear, Our share of morning, Our blank in bliss to fill, Our blank in scorning. Here a star, and there a star, Some lose their way. Here a mist, and there a mist, Afterwards — day!