Dickinson Quotes

Quotes tagged as "dickinson" Showing 1-28 of 28
Charles Simic
“For Emily Dickinson every philosophical idea was a potential lover. Metaphysics is the realm of eternal seduction of the spirit by ideas.”
Charles Simic

“ The following year the house was substantially remodeled, and the conservatory removed. As the walls of the now crumbling wall were being torn down, one of the workmen chanced upon a small leatherbound book that had apparently been concealed behind a loose brick or in a crevice in the wall. By this time Emily Dickinson was a household name in Amherst. It happened that this carpenter was a lover of poetry- and hers in particular- and when he opened the little book and realized that that he had found her diary, he was “seized with a violent trembling,” as he later told his grandson. Both electrified and terrified by the discovery, he hid the book in his lunch bucket until the workday ended and then took it home. He told himself that after he had read and savored every page, he would turn the diary over to someone who would know how to best share it with the public. But as he read, he fell more and more deeply under the poet’s spell and began to imagine that he was her confidant. He convinced himself that in his new role he was no longer obliged to give up the diary. Finally, having brushed away the light taps of conscience, he hid the book at the back of an oak chest in his bedroom, from which he would draw it out periodically over the course of the next sixty-four years until he had virtually memorized its contents. Even his family never knew of its existence.

Shortly before his death in 1980 at the age of eighty-nine, the old man finally showed his most prized possession to his grandson (his only son having preceded him in death), confessing that his delight in it had always been tempered by a nagging guilt and asking that the young man now attempt to atone for his grandfather’s sin. The grandson, however, having inherited both the old man’s passion for poetry and his tendency towards paralysis of conscience, and he readily succumbed to the temptation to hold onto the diary indefinitely while trying to decide what ought to be done with it.”
Jamie Fuller, The Diary of Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, Eyes;
I wonder if It weighs like Mine,
Or has an Easier size.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“Tell the truth, but tell it slant.”
Emily Dickinson

Matt Haig
“Read poetry. Especially poetry by Emily Dickinson. It might save you. Anne Sexton knows the mind, Walt Whitman knows grass, but Emily Dickinson knows everything.”
Matt Haig, The Humans

Tessa Emily Hall
“Your poetry--it doesn't deserve to be locked away, hidden from the rest of the world. And neither do you.”
Tessa Emily Hall, Unwritten Melody

Emily Dickinson
“Publication - is the Auction / Of the Mind of Man”
Emily Dickinson

Tessa Emily Hall
“Words, to me, are the same as an instrument is to a musician. I never know where this typewriter is going to take me until I begin. I never know what I'm feeling until I read over what I have written.”
Tessa Emily Hall, Unwritten Melody

Emily Dickinson
“There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
'Tis the seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ecstasy.

For each beloved hour
Sharp pittances of years,
Bitter contested farthings
And coffers heaped with tears.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“Who never wanted, ― maddest joy
Remains to him unknown ;
The banquet of abstemiousness
Surpasses that of wine.

Within its hope, though yet ungrasped
Desire's perfect goal,
No nearer, lest reality
Should disenthrall thy soul.”
Emily Dickinson

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.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love ; but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“The reticent volcano keeps
His never slumbering plan ;
Confided are his projects pink
To no precarious man.

If nature will not tell the tale
Jehovah told to her,
Can human nature not survive
Without a listener?

Admonished by her buckled lips
Let every babbler be.
The only secret people keep
Is Immortality.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“We play at paste,
Till qualified for pearl,
Then drop the paste,
And deem ourself a fool.
The shapes, though, were similar,
And our new hands
Learned gem-tactics
Practising sands.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“Forbidden fruit a flavor has
That lawful orchards mocks ;
How luscious lies the pea within
The pod that Duty locks !”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“Could mortal lip divine
The undeveloped freight
Of a delivered syllable,
'T would crumble with the weight.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“The past is such a curious creature,
To look her in the face
A transport may reward us,
Or a disgrace.

Unarmed if any meet her,
I charge them, fly !
Her rusty ammunition
Might yet reply !”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“I felt a clearing in my mind
As if my brain had split ;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.

The thought behind I strove to join
Unto the thought before,
But sequence ravelled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“Few get enough, ― enough is one ;
To that ethereal throng
Have not each one of us the right
To stealthily belong ?”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“To hang our head ostensibly,
And subsequent to find
That such was not the posture
Of our immortal mind,

Affords the sly presumption
That, in so dense a fuzz,
You, too, take cobweb attitudes
Upon a plane of gauze !”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“Undue significance a starving man attaches to food
Far off ; he sighs, and therefore hopeless,
And therefore good.

Partaken, it relieves indeed, but proves us
That spices fly
In the receipt. It was the distance
Was savory.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“My worthiness is all my doubt,
His merit all my fear,
Contrasting which, my qualities
Do lowlier appear ;

Lest I should insufficient prove
For his beloved need,
The chiefest apprehension
Within my loving creed.

So I, the undivine abode
Of his elect content,
Conform my soul as 't were a church
Unto her sacrament.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“To my quick ear the Leaves — conferred —
The Bushes — they were Bells —
I could not find a Privacy
From Nature's sentinels —

In Cave if I presumed to hide
The Walls — begun to tell —
Creation seemed a mighty Crack —
To make me visible —”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“To hear an Oriole sing
May be a common thing —
Or only a divine.

It is not of the Bird
Who sings the same, unheard,
As unto Crowd —

The Fashion of the Ear
Attireth that it hear
In Dun, or fair —

So whether it be Rune,
Or whether it be none
Is of within.

The "Tune is in the Tree —"
The Skeptic — showeth me —
"No Sir! In Thee!”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“A Death blow is a Life blow to Some
Who till they died, did not alive become —
Who had they lived, had died but when
They died, Vitality begun.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“Immortal is an ample word
When what we need is by
But when it leaves us for a time
'Tis a necessity.

Of Heaven above the firmest proof
We fundamental know
Except for its marauding Hand
It had been Heaven below.”
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
“I lived on Dread —
To Those who know
The Stimulus there is
In Danger — Other impetus
Is numb — and Vitalless —

As 'twere a Spur — upon the Soul —
A Fear will urge it where
To go without the Sceptre's aid
Were Challenging Despair.”
Emily Dickinson