Friday, May 25, 2007

The Magic of Emily Dickinson

IF I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.


Probably one of the more famous poems of Emily Dickinson, these immortal verses are from her collection of poems called "Life."

I first heard the magic of Emily from the same brilliant professor, W.D. But strangely, I wasn't around the first time she taught a poem from the Dickinson collection. That poem was about a little tippler leaning against the sun - it was beautifully cute imagery - and for some obscure reason that has chosen to fade from my memory, I had decided to skip that class. Ah, how I wish now that I hadn't! The next class I was back and this reclusive woman's haunting verse came to life.

If everyone would choose to live their life by the standards in this poem - our world would be much a better place. As for me, I believe that I have not lived in vain so far - I read her magic.


  1. Emily Dickinson is one of my favorites too. I particularly like her short poem, "Heart, we will forget him"..

    Heart, we will forget him,
    You and I, tonight!
    You must forget the warmth he gave,
    I will forget the light.

    When you have done pray tell me,
    Then I, my thoughts, will dim.
    Haste! ‘lest while you’re lagging
    I may remember him! few words, such profound depth..

    Thanks Tipsy for the poetry treat. I'll post something soon :) Tee

  2. Inscrutable Indian indeed!! I still think the names I chose were brilliant!! And I did like this poem here :D

  3. few words, such profound depth...

  4. few words, such profound depth...

  5. You're right - thee's an elusive quality to ED's poems that a lot of people miss, but which a few feel, rather than notice. She's got an oblique approach to most things - and was/is a unique poet with an experimental and amazing style of her own. I've just finished reading The Complete Poems (the Franklin edited one) and ED's poetry is simply stunning.