Monday, April 30, 2012

Favorite Poetry: Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is one of my favorite poets.  I quite envy her ability to express herself in such short poems.  I read once that she wrote all these little pieces during her life and locked them in her desk drawer, where they were found and published after her death.  She never knew she would be famous.

Since they are so short, I'm posting two at once.

This one particularly struck me when I first read it.  I had never thought of victory or success in the way Emily Dickinson portrays it before.

I couldn't find a picture to go with this piece, so I made this with Pixlr.
Success is Counted Sweetest
By Emily Dickinson
Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires the sorest need.
Not one of all the purple host
Who took the flag today,
Can tell the definition,
So plain, of victory,
As he defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Break, agonizing clear. 

It took me a couple re-readings before I understood the point of this second one.  It's the essence of poetical thinking, really. 

via my pinterest

To Make a Prairie
By Emily Dickinson 
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee - 
One clover, and a bee,
And reverie.

The reverie alone will do
If bees are few.


  1. I love this poem...I like poetry as well. :) Here is one of my favorites:

    And a few of my own poems, if you care to read them:

    Have a lovely day!

  2. Emily Dickinson is definitely one of my personal favorites. Her mastery of meter is phenomenal, particularly how she generates meaning in her poem through the metrical flow -- the physical sound of the lines is often very important. I had to write an essay last year on any poem I wanted, and I chose "A certain slant of light."


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