Popular Poems of Emily Dickinson

hope

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

By: Emily Dickinson


Because I Could Not Stop For Death

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible.
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.


 

T'is So Much Joy

’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, indeed, I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can prevail!

And if I gain,—oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,
And might o’erwhelm me so!

 


Behind me dips Eternity

eternity

Behind Me -- dips Eternity --
Before Me -- Immortality --
Myself -- the Term between --
Death but the Drift of Eastern Gray,
Dissolving into Dawn away,
Before the West begin --

'Tis Kingdoms -- afterward -- they say --
In perfect -- pauseless Monarchy --
Whose Prince -- is Son of None --
Himself -- His Dateless Dynasty --
Himself -- Himself diversify --
In Duplicate divine --

'Tis Miracle before Me -- then --
'Tis Miracle behind -- between --
A Crescent in the Sea --
With Midnight to the North of Her --
And Midnight to the South of Her --
And Maelstrom -- in the Sky --

 


 

The Only News I know

The only news I know
Is bulletins all day
From immortality:

The only shows I see
Tomorrow and today.
Perchance eternity.

The only one I meet
Is God, the only street
Existence; this traversed.

If other news there be
Or admirabler show,
I’ll tell it you.



If I Can Stop

not-live-in-vain

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.

- Emily Dickinson


 

Much Madness

Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
’T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,—you ’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.

- Emily Dickinson

 

 

 

photos: Tejvan, Pavitrata (top)