Emily Dickinson, fully Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
They say that 'home is where the heart is.' I think it is where the house is, and the adjacent buildings.
To see her is a picture- to hear her is a tune- to know her an Intemperance as innocent as June- to know her not-Affliction- to own her for a Friend a warmth as near as if the Sun were shining in your Hand.
Whenever a thing is done for the first time, it releases a little demon.
Nature is what we know yet have not art to say. So impotent our wisdom is to her simplicity.
She dealt her pretty words like Blades -- How glittering they shone -- And every One unbared a Nerve Or wantoned with a Bone -- She never deemed -- she hurt -- That -- is not Steel's Affair -- A vulgar grimace in the Flesh -- How ill the Creatures bear -- To Ache is human -- not polite -- The Film upon the eye Mortality's old Custom -- Just locking up -- to Die.
The fog is rising.
They say that Time assuages - Time never did assuage - An actual suffering strengthens As Sinews do, with age - Time is a Test of Trouble - But not a Remedy - If such it prove, it prove too There was no Malady.
To see the Summer Sky Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lieâ€”True Poems fleeâ€”
A power of Butterfly must be - the Aptitude to fly. Meadows of Majesty concedes and easy Sweeps of Sky.
Beauty crowds me till I die, beauty, mercy have on me! But if I expire today, let it be in sight of thee
Dying is a wild night and a new road.
For my companions â€” the Hills â€” Sir â€” and the Sundown â€” and a Dog â€” large as myself, that my Father bought me â€” They are better than Beings â€” because they know â€” but do not tell.
How dreary â€” to be â€” Somebody! How public â€” like a Frog â€” to tell one's name â€” the livelong June -To an admiring Bog.
I dwell in possibility.
I measure every Grief I meet with narrow, probing, Eyes; I wonder if It weighs like Mine, or has an Easier size. I wonder if They bore it long, or did it just begin? I could not tell the Date of Mine, it feels so old a pain. I wonder if it hurts to live, and if They have to try, and whether, could They choose between, it would not be, to die. I note that Some -- gone patient long -- At length, renew their smile. An imitation of a Light that has so little Oil. I wonder if when Years have piled, some Thousands -- on the Harm of early hurt -- if such a lapse could give them any Balm; or would they go on aching still through Centuries above, enlightened to a larger Pain by Contrast with the Love. The Grieved are many, I am told; the reason deeper lies, -- Death is but one and comes but once, and only nails the eyes. There's Grief of Want and Grief of Cold, -- a sort they call Despair; there's Banishment from native Eyes, in sight of Native Air. And though I may not guess the kind correctly, yet to me a piercing Comfort it affords in passing Calvary, to note the fashions of the Cross, and how they're mostly worn, still fascinated to presume that Some are like My Own.
If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?
It was not death, for I stood up, and all the dead lie down; it was not night, for all the bells put out their tongues, for noon. It was not frost, for on my flesh I felt siroccos crawl, nor fire, for just my marble feet could keep a chancel cool. And yet it tasted like them all; the figures I have seen set orderly, for burial, reminded me of mine, as if my life were shaven and fitted to a frame, and could not breathe without a key; and I was like midnight, some, when everything that ticked has stopped, and space stares, all around, or grisly frosts, first autumn morns, repeal the beating ground. But most like chaos,--stopless, cool, without a chance or spar,-- or even a report of land to justify despair.
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 what concerns our mutual mind. The literature of old; what interested scholars most, what competitions ran when Plato was a certainty, and Sophocles a man; when Sappho was a living girl, and Beatrice wore the gown that Dante deified. Facts, centuries before, he traverses familiar, as one should come to town and tell you all your dreams were true: he lived where dreams were born. His presence is enchantment, you beg him not to go; old volumes shake their vellum heads and tantalize just so.
Beauty is not caused. It is.
Earth is a merry damsel, and heaven a knight so true.