Emily Dickinson, fully Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

Emily
Dickinson, fully Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
1830
1886

American Poet

Author Quotes

How do most people live without any thought? There are many people in the world,--you must have noticed them in the street,--how do they live? How do they get strength to put on their clothes in the morning?

I don't profess to be profound; but I do lay claim to common sense.

I lost a world the other day. Has anybody found? You'll know it by the rows of stars around it's forehead bound. A rich man might not notice it; yet to my frugal eye of more esteem than ducats. Oh! Find it, sir, for me!

If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.

It was a quiet way - he asked if I was his - I made no answer of the tongue but answer of the eyes - and then he bore me on before this mortal noise with swiftness, as of chariots and distance, as of wheels. This world did drop away as acres from the feet of one that leaneth from balloon upon an ether street. The gulf behind was not, the continents were new - eternity was due. No seasons were to us - it was not night nor morn - but sunrise stopped upon the place and fastened in dawn.

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 — the Hills — Sir — and the Sundown — and a Dog — large as myself, that my Father bought me — They are better than Beings — because they know — but do not tell.

How dreary — to be — Somebody! How public — like a Frog — to tell one's name — 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.

For what are stars but asterisks. To point a human life?

How great happiness stone loitering alone on the roads without weariness is not interested to work and requirements narrows hope and brown robe clothe him forever from above via a freely sun shine alone or with the rest, with a presence in all the simplicity and spontaneity.

I fear a Man of frugal speech - I fear a Silent Man - Haranguer - I can overtake - Or Babbler - entertain - But He who weigheth - While the Rest - expend their furthest pound - of this Man - I am wary - I fear that He is Grand -

I must go in, the fog is rising.

If the stillness is Volcanic in the human face when upon a pain Titanic features keep their place- If at length the smoldering anguish will not overcome- and the palpitating Vinyard in the dust, be overthrown?

A soft Sea washed around the House a Sea of Summer Air and rose and fell the magic Planks that sailed without a care — for Captain was the Butterfly for Helmsman was the Bee and an entire universe for the delighted crew.

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 labour, 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.

Earth is crammed with Heaven.

Author Picture
First Name
Emily
Last Name
Dickinson, fully Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
Birth Date
1830
Death Date
1886
Bio

American Poet