Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is one of best-loved American poets of all time. She is remembered for her hundreds of short poems, mostly written in ballad verse. Her poems touch on topics like love, fame, nature, and most commonly, death. She was a recluse throughout her life and it was only after her death that her poetry became widely known. Read more about Emily Dickinson.

Some of Dickinson’s most famous poems include Because I could not stop for DeathHope is the thing with Feathers, Wild Nights! – Wild Nights!, I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, and I heard a Fly buzz – when I died.

A Bird, came down the Walk

‘A Bird, came down the Walk’ by Emily Dickinson is a beautiful nature poem. It focuses on the actions of a bird going about its everyday life.

A Coffin is a Small Domain

‘A Coffin—is a small Domain’ by Emily Dickinson explores death. It is characteristic of much of the poet’s work in that it clearly addresses this topic and everything that goes along with it.

A drop fell on the apple tree

‘A drop fell on the apple tree’ by Emily Dickinson is filled with joy. It describes, with Dickinson’s classic skill, images of the summer season and how a storm can influence it.

A Light Exists in Spring

‘A light exists in spring’ is about the light in spring that illuminates its surroundings. Though this poem is about nature, it has a deep religious connotation that science cannot explain.

A little Dog that wags his tail

In ‘A little Dog that wags his tail’ Emily Dickinson explores themes of human nature, the purpose of life, and freedom. She compares animals, cats and dogs, to adults and children.

A Narrow Fellow in the Grass

‘A Narrow Fellow in the Grass’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful nature poem. Dickinson uses a male speaker to describe a boyhood encounter with a snake.

A Route of Evanescence

‘A Route of Evanescence’ by Emily Dickinson describes its subject through a series of metaphors, allusions, and images. But, never actually states that the subject is a hummingbird.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes

‘After great pain, a formal feeling comes’ by Emily Dickinson speaks thoughtfully and emotionally on sorrow. The speaker delves into what it’s like soon after experiencing a loss.

Ah, Moon–and Star!

‘Ah, Moon–and Star!’ by Emily Dickinson is an unforgettable love poem. The poet skillfully uses the universe to depict what it’s like for two lovers to be separated.

An awful Tempest mashed the air

‘An awful Tempest mashed the air’ by Emily Dickinson personifies a storm. The speaker follows it from its beginning to end and depicts how nature is influenced.

Apparently with no surprise

In ‘Apparently with no surprise,’ Emily Dickinson explores themes of life, death, time, and God. The poet takes the reader to a moving snapshot of life and death.

As Imperceptibly as Grief

‘As imperceptibly as grief’ by Emily Dickinson analyzes grief. The poet compares it to the passing away of the summer.

Because I could not stop for Death

‘Because I could not stop for death,’ Dickinson’s best-known poem, is a depiction of one speaker’s journey into the afterlife with personified “Death” leading the way.

Departed To The Judgment

‘Departed To The Judgment’ by Emily Dickinson discusses death and the afterlife. The speaker explores their beliefs about both and how they contrast with others’.

Fairer through Fading — as the Day

‘Fairer through Fading — as the Day’ by Emily Dickinson describes the sun and the value of all things. She uses the day as a symbol for what’s lost and will come again.

Fame is a bee

‘Fame is a bee’ by Emily Dickinson uses a bee to describe the fleeting nature of fame. She uses clever images and original poetic writing throughout.

From Blank to Blank

‘From Blank to Blank’ by Emily Dickinson is a dark poem that ends in a more uplifting manner. She spends the lines discussing how complex life is and how hard it can be to navigate.

He ate and drank the precious words

‘He ate and drank the precious words’ by Emily Dickinson is an uplifting poem. It celebrates the joys of reading by describing one man’s experience.

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

‘Hope is the Thing with Feathers’ by Emily Dickinson is a poem about hope. It is depicted through the famous metaphor of a bird.

How Happy I Was If I Could Forget

‘How Happy I Was If I Could Forget’ by Emily Dickinson contains a narrator’s confused thoughts and experiences. She uses complex grammar and imagery to convey it further.

How happy is the little Stone

Within ‘How happy is the little Stone’ Dickinson personifies a stone. She describes its rambling adventures, evoking joy and whimsy in the reader.

How the old Mountains drip with Sunset

‘How the old Mountains drip with Sunset’ by Emily Dickinson celebrates the beauty of the natural world. She focuses specifically on a sunset and how impossible it is to capture it in words or paint.

I Cannot Live With You

‘I cannot live with You’ by Emily Dickinson is a poem about marriage. The speaker spends the lines declaring why she can’t “live with you” and her various related concerns.

I could bring You Jewels—had I a mind to

‘I could bring You Jewels—had I a mind’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful poem about friendship. The speaker contemplates what gift she could possibly get a friend she dearly loves.

I dreaded that first Robin

’I dreaded that first Robin’ by Emily Dickinson is a surprising poem about nature. The speaker confesses to an unusual opinion about the season throughout the lines.

I dwell in Possibility

‘I dwell in Possibility’ by Emily Dickinson is a short, memorable poem. It explores themes of writing, specifically poetic writing, and the power it has.

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

‘I felt a Funeral, in my Brain’ by Emily Dickinson is a popular poem. In it, she depicts a very unusual idea of life after death.

I Gave Myself To Him

‘I Gave Myself To Him’ by Emily Dickinson is a clever love poem. It gives the readers a glimpse of the intensity of a relationship between the speaker and her subject.

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died

‘I heard a Fly Buzz – when I died’ by Emily Dickinson is an unforgettable depiction of the moments before death. The speaker emphasizes the stillness of the room and the movements of a single fly.

I like to see it lap the Miles

‘I like to see it lap the Miles’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful poem. It explores themes of industrialization, power, and human ingenuity.

I measure every Grief I meet

‘I measure every Grief I meet’ by Emily Dickinson is a dark and depressing poem. The poet explores the nature of grief and how loss is unavoidable.

I saw no Way – The Heavens were stitched

‘I saw no Way – The Heavens were stitched’ by Emily Dickinson depicts heaven and the afterlife. The poet thoughtfully explores how she feels about the breadth of the universe.

I Started Early – Took my Dog

‘I Started Early – Took my Dog’ by Emily Dickinson personifies the sea. Dickinson depicts it as a lover and alludes to her speaker’s fears in regard to sex and love.

I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed

‘I tasted a liquor never brewed’ by Emily Dickinson celebrates life. The poet uses natural imagery, such as that of berries, and pearls, to depict it.

I’m “wife” – I’ve finished that

‘I’m “wife” – I’ve finished that’ by Emily Dickinson explores independence and womanhood. The poet depicts an unmarried woman and contrasts her with a wife.

If Ever the Lid Gets off my Head

‘If Ever the Lid gets off my head’ by Emily Dickinson is a thought-provoking poem. In it, the poet makes a distinction between her mind and common sense.

If I can stop one heart from breaking

‘If I can stop one heart from breaking’ by Emily Dickinson is a selfless proclamation of one’s desire to help. The poet’s speaker offers help in a variety of ways in some cases to better her own life.

If those I loved were lost

‘If those I loved were lost’ by Emily Dickinson is a complex poem. It uses allusions to describe how the poet, or at least her speaker, would react to the loss of loved ones.

In The Garden

‘In the Garden’ by Emily Dickinson skillfully depicts nature. The poet focuses in on a garden and the bugs and birds one might see there.

It sifts from Leaden Sieves

‘It sifts from Leaden Sieves’ by Emily Dickinson is a beautiful nature poem. The poet explores the way that a fresh snowfall can reframe the whole world.

It was not Death, for I stood up

‘It was not Death, for I stood up’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful poem about understanding depression. Specifically, the speaker is interested in understanding herself.

May-Flower

‘May-Flower’ is a beautiful short poem in which Dickinson uses her skill with imagery to depict a forest scene, a May flower, and its connection to the human soul. 

My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close

‘My life closed twice before its close’ by Emily Dickinson uses heartbreak as a metaphor for death. She also experiments with the meaning of “closure.”

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun

‘My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun’ by Emily Dickinson is a complex, metaphorical poem. The poet depicts a woman who is under a man’s control and sleeps like a load gun.

My River runs to thee

In Emily Dickinson’s ‘My River runs to thee,’ readers explore an extended metaphor that may have sexual or religious undertones. 

One need not be a Chamber to be Haunted

‘One need not be a Chamber to be Haunted’ by Emily Dickinson explores the nature of the human mind. She presents the reader with images of mental and physical threats and how they can be confronted.

Publication is the Auction

‘Publication is the auction’ by Emily Dickinson is about the poet’s feelings toward her own works. It gives insight into her character and values.

Simplicity

‘Simplicity’ by Emily Dickinson speaks on the important concept of happiness. The speaker emphasizes how heavy the world can seem at times.

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –

‘Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –’ is one of Emily Dickinson’s best-known poems. It features the poet’s growing disbelief regarding the customary Christian rituals and her intention to seek salvation without resorting to the conventional means.

Some Rainbow – coming from the Fair!

‘Some rainbow – coming from the Fair!’ by Emily Dickinson delves into themes of spring, change, and rebirth. The poet depicts how the world changes when spring arrives.

Success is counted sweetest

‘Success is counted sweetest’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful poem about success. It emphasizes the fact that one must lose something in order to truly appreciate it.

Tell all the truth but tell it slant

‘Tell the truth but tell it slant’ by Emily Dickinson is one of Dickinson’s best-loved poems. It explores an unknown “truth” that readers must interpret in their own way.

That it will never come again

‘That it will never come again’ by Emily Dickinson is a short and thoughtful poem. In it, the poet presents a relatable opinion of life, its brevity, and its importance.

The Brain—is wider than the Sky

‘The Brain – is wider than the Sky’ by Emily Dickinson focuses on the complexity of the human brain. She celebrates its beauty and wonder.

The Butterfly’s Day

‘The Butterfly’s Day’ is a beautiful poem written by the American poet Emily Dickinson. This poem presents the themes of the vanity of life and oblivion.

The Cricket Sang

‘The Cricket Sang’ by Emily Dickinson is a memorable nature poem. It focuses on the daily routines of all living things.

The Heart asks Pleasure – first

‘The heart asks pleasure first’ by Emily Dickinson depicts the needs of the heart. They are highly changeable and include pleasure and excuse from pain.

The Letter

‘The Letter’ by Emily Dickinson is a sweet love poem. It is told from the perceptive of a love letter.

The Lightning is a Yellow Fork

‘The Lightening is a Yellow Fork’ by Emily Dickinson is a highly original poem. It focuses on the sublime power of lightening and God.

The Past is such a Curious Creature

‘The past is such a Curious creature’ by Emily Dickinson focuses on the past, and personifies it as a female character. The poet’s speaker puts the feeling of one’s past into a few simple, relatable words.

The Rainbow Never Tells Me

‘The Rainbow never tells me’ by Emily Dickinson speaks on the knowledge inherent to nature. From a rainbow to the reoccurrence of spring, the speaker says the world is filled with wisdom.

The Soul selects her own Society

‘The soul selects her own Society’ by Emily Dickinson emphasizes the solitary nature of the “Soul.” As well as “her” ability to select the “one” she wants to give access to, and then shut out all the rest.

There is another sky

In the beautiful poem, ‘There is another sky,’ Dickinson addresses themes that are common to Shakespearean sonnets. These include writing as a way of preserving experience and beauty.

There is no Frigate like a Book

‘There is no Frigate like a Book’ by Emily Dickinson focuses on how joyful reading can be. The speaker compares reading to exploring and emphasizes its elements of escapism.

There’s a certain Slant of light

‘There’s a certain Slant of light’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful poem. It depicts a metaphorical slant of light and how it influences the speaker.

There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House

In ‘There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House’ Emily Dickinson explores themes of death and community. Through the use of a male speaker, she examines the actions of a small town after a death.

This is my letter to the world

‘This is my letter to the world’ by Emily Dickinson focuses on very relatable themes. These include isolation and the search for companionship.

To Fight Aloud, is Very Brave

‘To fight aloud, is very brave’ by Emily Dickinson compares inner and outer struggles. She emphasizes the former, suggesting it is far more complex and difficult than it seems.

To Know Just How He Suffered Would Be Dear

‘To Know Just How He Suffered Would Be Dear’ by Emily Dickinson is about suffering. The speaker explores what others experience, particularly one person she loved dearly.

Top 10 Emily Dickinson Love Poems

On this list, readers will find ten of the best Emily Dickinson love poems. These are just as complex as the rest of the poet’s work, reflecting her personal life and her perception of love.

Two Butterflies went out at Noon—

‘Two Butterflies went out at Noon—,’ by one of the greatest American poets, Emily Dickinson is a thought-provoking piece of art. It boundlessly captures the journey of two butterflies to eternity.

Victory comes late

‘Victory comes late’ by Emily Dickinson is a thoughtful and complex poem. It explores the ways people interact with God and religion.

Why Do I Love You, Sir

‘Why Do I Love You, Sir’ by Emily Dickinson is about one person’s relationship with God. The speaker explores why she loves God through clear and memorable language.

Wild nights – Wild nights!

‘Wild nights – Wild nights!’ by Emily Dickinson is a multi-faceted poem. It explores an ambiguous relationship that could be religious or sexual.

Your Riches — taught me — Poverty

‘Your Riches — taught me — Poverty’ by Emily Dickinson is about wealth and possessions. She addresses a personal friend and explores these subjects through the eyes of an adult.

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