After great pain, a formal feeling comes – (372)

By Emily Dickinson 1830–1886 Emily Dickinson
After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from THE POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON: READING EDITION, edited by Ralph W. Franklin, ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright © 1998, 1999 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Edited by R. W. Franklin (Harvard University Press, 1999)

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Poet Emily Dickinson 1830–1886

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Nature, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, The Body

Occasions Funerals

 Emily  Dickinson

Biography

Emily Dickinson is one of America’s greatest and most original poets of all time. She took definition as her province and challenged the existing definitions of poetry and the poet’s work. Like writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman, she experimented with expression in order to free it from conventional restraints. Like writers such as Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, she . . .

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Poems by Emily Dickinson

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SUBJECT Nature, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, The Body

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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