I would not paint — a picture — (348)

By Emily Dickinson 1830–1886 Emily Dickinson
I would not paint — a picture —
I'd rather be the One
It's bright impossibility
To dwell — delicious — on —
And wonder how the fingers feel
Whose rare — celestial — stir —
Evokes so sweet a torment —
Such sumptuous — Despair —

I would not talk, like Cornets —
I'd rather be the One
Raised softly to the Ceilings —
And out, and easy on —
Through Villages of Ether —
Myself endued Balloon
By but a lip of Metal —
The pier to my Pontoon —

Nor would I be a Poet —
It's finer — Own the Ear —
Enamored — impotent — content —
The License to revere,
A privilege so awful
What would the Dower be,
Had I the Art to stun myself
With Bolts — of Melody!

Emily Dickinson, "I would not paint — a picture —" from The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition, ed by Ralph W. Franklin. Copyright © 1998 by Emily Dickinson.  Reprinted by permission of The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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

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Poet Emily Dickinson 1830–1886

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Music, Painting & Sculpture, Poetry & Poets

 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 Arts & Sciences, Music, Painting & Sculpture, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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