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)

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