Wide World of Quotes > Emily Dickinson Quotes


Emily Dickinson
Russian novelist
(1821-81)



Share this page:

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 —
-- 'Because I could not stop for Death' (c. 1863)

Since then — 'tis Centuries — and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity —
-- 'Because I could not stop for Death' (c. 1863)

They shut me up in Prose
As when a little girl
They put me in a Closet—
Because they liked me still.
-- 'They shut me up in prose' (c. 1862)

This quiet Dust was Gentlemen and Ladies
And Lads and Girls--
Was laughter and ability and Sighing
And Frocks and Curls
-- 'This quiet Dust was Gentlemen and Ladies" (c. 1864)

I heard a Fly buzz—when I died
With Blue—uncertain stumbling Buzz
Between the light—and me
And then the Windows failed—and then
I could not see to see.
-- 'I heard a Fly buzz—when I died' (c. 1862)

New feet within my garden go,
New fingers stir the sod;
A troubadour upon the elm
Betrays the solitude.

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.

-- Collected Poems, ed. Fall River Press, 1993

New children play upon the green,
New weary sleep below;
And still the pensive spring returns,
And still the punctual snow!
-- Collected Poems, ed. Fall River Press, 1993

The grass so little has to do,—
A sphere of simple green,
With only butterflies to brood,
And bees to entertain,

And stir all day to pretty tunes
The breezes fetch along,
And hold the sunshine in its lap
And bow to everything;

And thread the dews all night, like pearls,
And make itself so fine,-
A duchess were too common
For such a noticing.

And even when it dies, to pass
In odors so divine,
As lowly spices gone to sleep,
Or amulets of pine.

And then to dwell in sovereign barns,
And dream the days away,—
The grass so little has to do,
I wish I were a hay!
-- Collected Poems, ed. Fall River Press, 1993

Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn
Indicative that suns go down;
The notice to the startled grass
That darkness is about to pass.
p. 118. Nature.

IT makes no difference abroad,
The seasons fit the same,
The mornings blossom into noons,
And split their pods of flame.

Wild-flowers kindle in the woods,
The brooks brag all the day;
No blackbird bates his jargoning
For passing Calvary.

Auto-da-fé and judgment
Are nothing to the bee;
His separation from his rose
To him seems misery.
-- Collected Poems, ed. Fall River Press, 1993

Heart, we will forget him!
You and I, to-night!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me,
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you’re lagging,
I may remember him!
-- Collected Poems, ed. Fall River Press, 1993





I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.
I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.
-- Collected Poems, ed. Fall River Press, 1993

No rack can torture me,
My soul ’s at liberty.
Behind this mortal bone
There knits a bolder one

You cannot prick with saw,
Nor rend with scymitar.
Two bodies therefore be;
Bind one, and one will flee.

The eagle of his nest
No easier divest
And gain the sky,
Than mayest thou,

Except thyself may be
Thine enemy;
Captivity is consciousness,
So’s liberty.
-- Collected Poems, ed. Fall River Press, 1993

I reason, earth is short,
And anguish absolute.
And many hurt;
But what of that?

I reason, we could die:
The best vitality
Cannot excel decay;
But what of that?

I reason that in heaven
Somehow, it will be even,
Some new equation given;
But what of that?
-- Collected Poems, ed. Fall River Press, 1993

Our journey had advanced;
Our feet were almost come
To that odd fork in Being’s road,
Eternity by term.

Our pace took sudden awe,
Our feet reluctant led.
Before were cities, but between,
The forest of the dead.

Retreat was out of hope,—
Behind, a sealed route,
Eternity’s white flag before,
And God at every gate.
-- Collected Poems, ed. Fall River Press, 1993

I died for Beauty — but was scarce
Adjusted in the Tomb,
When One who died for Truth, was lain
In an adjoining Room —

He questioned softly "Why I failed"?
"For Beauty," I replied.
"And I — for Truth, — Themself are One —
We Brethren, are", He said —
-- The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson. Little, Brown and Co., 1960

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church —
I keep it, staying at Home—
With a Bobolink for a Chorister —
And an Orchard, for a Dome—
-- The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson. Little, Brown and Co., 1960

My Life had stood — a Loaded Gun —
In Corners — till a Day
The Owner passed — identified —
And carried Me away —

And now We roam in Sovereign Woods —
And now We hunt the Doe —
And every time I speak for Him —
The Mountains straight reply —
-- The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson. Little, Brown and Co., 1960

Not with a Club, the Heart is broken
Nor with a Stone —
A Whip so small you could not see it
I've known

To lash the Magic Creature
Till it fell,
Yet that Whip's Name
Too noble then to tell.

Magnanimous as Bird
By Boy descried —
Singing unto the Stone
Of which it died —

Shame need not crouch
In such an Earth as Ours —
Shame — stand erect —
The Universe is yours.
-- The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson. Little, Brown and Co., 1960

More than the Grave is closed to me —
The Grave and that Eternity
To which the Grave adheres —
I cling to nowhere till I fall —
The Crash of nothing, yet of all —
How similar appears —
-- The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson. Little, Brown and Co., 1960



Share this page:








The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

About UsContact UsPrivacyTerms of Use
© 2005-16 Wide World of Quotes. All Rights Reserved.