Crumbling is not an instant's Act (1010)

By Emily Dickinson 1830–1886 Emily Dickinson
Crumbling is not an instant's Act
A fundamental pause
Dilapidation's processes
Are organized Decays —

'Tis first a Cobweb on the Soul
A Cuticle of Dust
A Borer in the Axis
An Elemental Rust —

Ruin is formal — Devil's work
Consecutive and slow —
Fail in an instant, no man did
Slipping — is Crashe's law —

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: 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 Living, Death, Growing Old, The Body, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Sciences

 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

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Growing Old, The Body, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Sciences

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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