The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants - (1350)

By Emily Dickinson 1830–1886 Emily Dickinson
The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants -
At Evening, it is not
At Morning, in a Truffled Hut
It stop opon a Spot

As if it tarried always
And yet it’s whole Career
Is shorter than a Snake’s Delay -
And fleeter than a Tare -

’Tis Vegetation’s Juggler -
The Germ of Alibi -
Doth like a Bubble antedate
And like a Bubble, hie -

I feel as if the Grass was pleased
To have it intermit -
This surreptitious Scion
Of Summer’s circumspect.

Had Nature any supple Face
Or could she one contemn -
Had Nature an Apostate -
That Mushroom - it is Him!

Emily Dickinson, “[The mushroom is the Elf of Plants]” from The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition. Copyright © 1998 by Emily Dickinson. Reprinted by permission of The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Dickinson poems are electronically reproduced courtesy 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 of Press, Copyright © 1988 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: Variorum Edition (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Emily Dickinson 1830–1886

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Nature, Trees & Flowers

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

 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 . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Emily Dickinson

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Trees & Flowers

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.