Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Emily Dickinson, fully Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

American Poet

"Fame is a bee. It has a song - It has a sting - Ah, too, it has a wing."

"Faith—is the Pierless Bridge supporting what We see unto the Scene that We do not—too slender for the eye it bears the Soul as bold as it were rocked in Steel with Arms of Steel at either side— it joins—behind the Veil to what, could We presume the Bridge would cease to be to Our far, vacillating Feet a first Necessity."

"Fame is a fickle food upon a shifting plate."

"Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough."

"Finite to fail, but infinite to venture."

"Harm is one of those things that I always mean to keep clear of, but somehow my intentions and me don't chime as they ought, and people will get hit with stones that I throw at my neighbor's dogs..."

"He ate and drank the precious words, his spirit grew robust; he knew no more that he was poor, nor that his frame was dust. He danced along the dingy days, and this bequest of wings was but a book. What liberty a loosened spirit brings!"

"For love is immortality."

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

"Forever is composed of nows."

"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."

"Forgive me if I never visit. I am from the fields, you know, and while quite at home with the dandelions, make a sorry figure in a drawing room."

"For you know we do not mind our dress when we are going home."

"Grant me, O Lord, a sunny mind-Thy windy will to bear!"

"Fortune befriends the bold."

"He fumbles at your spirit as players at the keys before they drop full music on; he stuns you by degrees. Prepares your brittle substance for the ethereal blow by fainter hammers, further heard, then nearer, then so slow. Your breath has time to straighten your brain to bubble cool,- deals one imperial thunderbolt that scalps your naked soul."

"Hold dear to your parents for it is a scary and confusing world without them."

"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 chilliest land and on the strangest sea; yet, never, in extremity, it asked a crumb of me."

"He doubtless did his best;"

"How dreary — to be — Somebody! How public — like a Frog — to tell one's name — the livelong June -To an admiring Bog."

"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?"

"He danced along the dingy days, and this bequest of wings was but a book."

"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!"

"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."

"How happy is the little stone that rambles in the road alone, and doesn't care about careers, and exigencies never fears; whose coat of elemental brown a passing universe put on; and independent as the sun, associates or glows alone, fulfilling absolute decree in casual simplicity."

"How strange that nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!"

"Hunger is a way of standing outside windows the entering takes away."

"I argue thee that love is life. And life hath immortality."

"I asked no other thing, no other was denied. I offered Being for it; the mighty merchant smiled. Brazil? He twirled a button, without a glance my way: But, madam, is there nothing else"

"I believe in possibility."

"I am out with lanterns, looking for myself."

"I did not reach thee, but my feet slip nearer every day;"

"I believe the love of God may be taught not to seem like bears."

"I cannot live with you, it would be life, and life is over there behind the shelf."

"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, the two are one; We brethren are, he said. And so, as kinsmen met a night, we talked between the rooms, until the moss had reached our lips, and covered up our names."

"I do not like the man who squanders life for fame; give me the man who living makes a name."

"I can wade Grief -- Whole Pools of it -- I'm used to that -- But the least push of Joy Breaks up my feet -- And I tip -- drunken -- Let no Pebble -- smile -- 'Twas the New Liquor -- That was all!"

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

"I felt a Cleaving in my Mind- as if my Brain had split- I tried to match it- Seam by Seam- but could not make it fit."

"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 dwell in possibility."

"I felt it shelter to speak to you."

"I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, and Mourners to and fro kept treading – treading – till it seemed that Sense was breaking through – And when they all were seated, a Service, like a Drum – kept beating – beating – till I thought my Mind was going numb – And then I heard them lift a Box and creak across my Soul with those same Boots of Lead, again, then Space – began to toll, As all the Heavens were a Bell, and Being, but an Ear, and I, and Silence, some strange Race wrecked, solitary, here – And then a Plank in Reason, broke, and I dropped down, and down – and hit a World, at every plunge, and Finished knowing – then –"

"I have been bent and broken, but -I hope- into a better shape."

"I had been hungry all the years- my noon had come, to dine- I, trembling, drew the table near and touched the curious wine. 'Twas this on tables I had seen when turning, hungry, lone, I looked in windows, for the wealth I could not hope to own. I did not know the ample bread, 'twas so unlike the crumb the birds and I had often shared in Nature's dining room. The plenty hurt me, 'twas so new,-- Myself felt ill and odd, as berry of a mountain bush transplanted to the road. Nor was I hungry; so I found that hunger was a way of persons outside windows, the entering takes away."

"I have not reached you, but approaches every day yourself you my foot three rivers and even a mountain I must cross. yet a desert, another sea, the trip but I count not, when I stand before you. We proceed easily as snow we stand, the water murmuring softly. rivers, deserts, mountains and sea are traversed by us. Yet death snatches me my price, looking up, he wins."

"I have no life but this- to lead it here- nor any death - but lest dispelled from there- nor tie to earths to come- nor action new- except through this extent- the realm of you."

"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."

"I held a jewel in my fingers And went to sleep."

"I hide myself within my flower that wearing on your breast, you, unsuspecting, wear me too— and angels know the rest. I hide myself within my flower, that, fading from your vase, you, unsuspecting, feel for me almost a loneliness."