Emily Dickinson

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  • Topic: Emily Dickinson, Amherst, Massachusetts, Mabel Loomis Todd
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Classic Poetry Series

Emily Dickinson
- poems -

Publication Date: 2004

PoemHunter.Com - The World's Poetry Archive

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Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, the daughter of a lawyer. She was educated at Amherst Academy (1834-47) and Mount Holyoake (1847-8). In her early years she appears to have been a bright and sociable young scholar, but in her twenties she began to withdraw from the outside world. By her forties she had become a complete recluse, refusing to leave her house and shunning all contact with strangers. A mystic by inclination, she wrote much in secret, producing over two thousand poems, only seven of which are known to have been published in her lifetime. Her personal life remains something of a mystery although there is the possibility that her seclusion might have been prompted by a failed love affair. Her work certainly reflects a deep inner struggle spanning many years and her verse is full of powerful allusions to storms, volcanic eruptions and imprisonment.

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"Arcturus" is his other name 70 "Arcturus" is his other name— I'd rather call him "Star." It's very mean of Science To go and interfere!

I slew a worm the other day— A "Savant" passing by Murmured "Resurgam"—"Centipede"! "Oh Lord—how frail are we"! I pull a flower from the woods— A monster with a glass Computes the stamens in a breath— And has her in a "class"! Whereas I took the Butterfly Aforetime in my hat— He sits erect in "Cabinets"— The Clover bells forgot.

What once was "Heaven" Is "Zenith" now— Where I proposed to go When Time's brief masquerade was done Is mapped and charted too. What if the poles should frisk about And stand upon their heads! I hope I'm ready for "the worst"— Whatever prank betides!

Perhaps the "Kingdom of Heaven's" changed— I hope the "Children" there Won't be "new fashioned" when I come— And laugh at me—and stare— I hope the Father in the skies Will lift his little girl— Old fashioned—naught—everything— Over the stile of "Pearl." Emily Dickinson

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3

"Faith" is a fine invention 185 "Faith" is a fine invention When Gentlemen can see— But Microscopes are prudent In an Emergency. Emily Dickinson

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4

"Heaven" has different Signs—to me 575 "Heaven" has different Signs—to me— Sometimes, I think that Noon Is but a symbol of the Place— And when again, at Dawn, A mighty look runs round the World And settles in the Hills— An Awe if it should be like that Upon the Ignorance steals—

The Orchard, when the Sun is on— The Triumph of the Birds When they together Victory make— Some Carnivals of Clouds— The Rapture of a finished Day— Returning to the West— All these—remind us of the place That Men call "paradise"—

Itself be fairer—we suppose— But how Ourself, shall be Adorned, for a Superior Grace— Not yet, our eyes can see— Emily Dickinson

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"Heaven"—is what I cannot reach! 239 "Heaven"—is what I cannot reach! The Apple on the Tree— Provided it do hopeless—hang— That—"Heaven" is—to Me!

The Color, on the Cruising Cloud— The interdicted Land— Behind the Hill—the House behind— There—Paradise—is found! Her teasing Purples—Afternoons— The credulous—decoy— Enamored—of the Conjuror— That spurned us—Yesterday! Emily Dickinson

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"Hope" is the thing with feathers 254 "Hope" is the thing with feathers— That perches in the soul—...
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