How many times these low feet staggered (238)

By Emily Dickinson 1830–1886 Emily Dickinson
How many times these low feet staggered -
Only the soldered mouth can tell -
Try - can you stir the awful rivet -
Try - can you lift the hasps of steel!

Stroke the cool forehead - hot so often -
Lift - if you care - the listless hair -
Handle the adamantine fingers
Never a thimble - more - shall wear -

Buzz the dull flies - on the chamber window -
Brave - shines the sun through the freckled pane -
Fearless - the cobweb swings from the ceiling -
Indolent Housewife - in Daisies - lain!

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition, Ralph W. Franklin, ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition (Harvard University Press, 1998)

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Poet Emily Dickinson 1830–1886

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Living, Death

 Emily  Dickinson

Biography

A poet who took definition as her province, Emily Dickinson 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 crafted a new type of persona for the first person. The speakers in . . .

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Poems by Emily Dickinson

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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