Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Emily Dickinson, fully Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

American Poet

"The Forever consists of many nows."

"The Heart is the Capital of the Mind— The Mind is a single State— The Heart and the Mind together make A single Continent— One—is the Population— Numerous enough— This ecstatic Nation Seek—it is Yourself."

"The Heart wants what it wants - or else it does not care."

"The heroism we recite would be a daily thing, did not ourselves the cubits warp for fear to be a king."

"The only secret people keep is immortality."

"The only Commandment I ever obeyed — 'Consider the Lilies."

"The pedigree of honey does not concern the bee; A clover, any time, to him is aristocracy."

"The lovely flowers embarrass me. They make me regret I am not a bee."

"The possible's slow fuse is lit by the Imagination."

"The poet lights the light and fades away. But the light goes on and on."

"The soul selects her own society, then shuts the door; on her divine majority obtrude no more."

"The soul should always stand ajar, that if the heaven inquire, he will not be obliged to wait, or shy of troubling her. Depart, before the host has slid the bolt upon the door, to seek for the accomplished guest, -- her visitor no more."

"The spirit looks upon the Dust that fastened it so long with indignation, as a Bird defrauded of its Song."

"The spreading wide my narrow Hands to gather Paradise."

"The sun just touched the morning; the morning, happy thing, supposed that he had come to dwell, and life would be all spring."

"The truth I do not dare to know I muffle with a jest."

"The truth must dazzle gradually. Or every man be blind."

"Then I will not repine knowing that bird of mine though flown shall in a distant tree bright melody for me return."

"The worm doth woo the mortal, death claims a living bride, night unto day is married, morn unto eventide, earth a merry damsel, and heaven a knight so true, and Earth is quite coquettish, and beseemeth in vain to sue."

"They dropped like flakes, they dropped like stars, like petals from a rose, when suddenly across the lune a wind with fingers goes. They perished in the seamless grass, no eye could find the place; but God on his repealess list can summon every face"

"They might not need me; but they might. I'll let my head be just in sight; a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity."

"There are, that resting, rise. Can I expound the skies? How still the riddle lies!"

"Then, as horizons step, or noons report away, without the formula of sound, it passes, and we stay: a quality of loss affecting our content."

"There is a ship as fast as a book to take us lands away."

"There's a certain slant of light, on winter afternoons, that oppresses, like the weight of cathedral tunes."

"There is a pain – so utter – it swallows substance up – then covers the Abyss with Trance – so Memory can step around – across – opon it – as one within a Swoon – goes safely – where an open eye – would drop Him – Bone by Bone."

"There is no Frigate like a Book to take us Lands away, nor any Coursers like a Page of prancing Poetry – This Traverse may the poorest take without oppress of Toll – how frugal is the Chariot that bears a Human soul."

"These are the days when birds come back, a very few, a Bird or two, to take a backward look."

"They are loved, you cannot die, for love is immortality."

"This is the Hour of Lead- Remembered, if outlived, as freezing persons, recollect the Snow- First-Chill-then Stupor- then the letting go---"

"They say that 'home is where the heart is.' I think it is where the house is, and the adjacent buildings."

"They say that God is everywhere and yet we always think of him as somewhat of a recluse."

"This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me,-- the simple news that Nature told, with tender majesty. Her message is committed to hands I cannot see; for love of her, sweet countrymen, judge tenderly of me!"

"Those who have not found the heaven below, will fail of it above."

"Till I loved I never liked enough."

"This quiet Dust was Gentlemen and Ladies, and Lads and Girls; was laughter and ability and sighing, and frocks and curls. This passive place a Summer's nimble mansion, where Bloom and Bees fulfilled their Oriental Circuit, then ceased like these."

"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."

"Those who are beloved cannot die, because love means immortality."

"Till I loved I never lived."

"To be alive is Power Existence in itself Without a further function Omnipotence enough."

"To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born, and yet not become desperate if there is no birth in our lifetime."

"Till it has loved, no man or woman can become itself."

"Tis not that dieing hurts us so- tis living- hurts us more."

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."

"To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, one clover, and a bee, and revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few."

"To be alive──is Power."

"To shut your eyes is to travel."

"To see the Summer Sky Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie—True Poems flee—"

"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."

"Truth is so rare that it is delightful to tell it."