Title Image - Quotes by Author Emily DickinsonPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Emily Dickinson. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Emily Dickinson

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Little-known during her life, she has since been regarded as one of the most important figures in American poetry.

Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts into a prominent family with strong ties to its community. After studying at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she briefly attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family's house in Amherst.

Evidence suggests that Dickinson lived much of her life in isolation. Considered an eccentric by locals, she developed a penchant for white clothing and was known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence.

While Dickinson was a prolific writer, her only publications during her lifetime were 10 of her nearly 1,800 poems, and one letter. The poems published then were usually edited significantly to fit conventional poetic rules. Her poems were unique for her era. They contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends, and also explore aesthetics, society, nature and spirituality.

Although Dickinson's acquaintances were most likely aware of her writing, it was not until after her death in 1886—when Lavinia, Dickinson's younger sister, discovered her cache of poems—that her work became public. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1890 by personal acquaintances Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd, though both heavily edited the content. A 1998 New York Times article revealed that of the many edits made to Dickinson's work, the name "Susan" was often deliberately removed. At least eleven of Dickinson's poems were dedicated to sister-in-law Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson, though all the dedications were obliterated, presumably by Todd. A complete, and mostly unaltered, collection of her poetry became available for the first time when scholar Thomas H. Johnson published The Poems of Emily Dickinson in 1955.

Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.

--Emily Dickinson

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.

--Emily Dickinson

In such a porcelain life, one likes to be sure that all is well lest one stumble upon one's hopes in a pile of broken crockery.

--Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a book to take us lands away nor any coursers like a page of prancing Poetry.

--Emily Dickinson

Beauty is not caused. It is.

--Emily Dickinson

That Love is all there is, Is all we know of Love; It is enough, the freight should be proportioned to the groove.

--Emily Dickinson

I stepped from plank to plank so slow and cautiously the stars about my head I felt, about my feet the sea. I knew not but the next would be my final inch -- this gave me that precarious gait some call experience.

--Emily Dickinson

Dreams are the subtle dower that make us rich an hour. Then fling us poor out of the purple door. Into the precinct raw possessed before.

--Emily Dickinson

It sounded as if the streets were running, And then the streets stood still.

--Emily Dickinson

Bloom upon the Mountain--stated Blameless of a Name Efflorescence of a Sunset Reproduced--the same.

--Emily Dickinson

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading -- treading -- till it seemed That Sense was breaking through --.

--Emily Dickinson

We never know how high we are Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan, Our statures touch the skies.

--Emily Dickinson

Nature rarer uses yellow Than another hue; Saves she all of that for sunsets, -- Prodigal of blue.

--Emily Dickinson

Find ecstasy in life; the more sense of living is joy enough.

--Emily Dickinson

The pedigree of honey does not concern the bee, a clover, anytime, to him, is aristocracy.

--Emily Dickinson

A door just opened on a street --
I, lost, was passing by --
An instant's width of warmth disclosed
And wealth, and company.

--Emily Dickinson

Longing is like a seed that wrestles in the ground.

--Emily Dickinson

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.

--Emily Dickinson

Let us go in; the fog is rising.

--Emily Dickinson

There is a June when Corn is cut And Roses in the Seed -- A Summer briefer than the first But tenderer indeed.

--Emily Dickinson

Till the first friend dies, we think ecstasy impersonal, but then discover that he was the cup from which we drank it, itself as unknown.

--Emily Dickinson

Besides the autumn poets sing, a few prosaic days, a little this side of the snow, and that side of the haze.

--Emily Dickinson

The pedigree of honey Does not concern the bee; A clover, any time, to him Is aristocracy.

--Emily Dickinson

A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.

--Emily Dickinson

Surgeons must be very careful when they take the knife! Underneath their fine incisions. Stirs the Culprit Life!

--Emily Dickinson

Truth is such a rare thing, it is delighted to tell it.

--Emily Dickinson

Fame is a bee.
It has a song -
It has a sting -
Ah, too, it has a wing.

--Emily Dickinson

My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

--Emily Dickinson

IMMORTAL is an ample word When what we need is by, But when it leaves us for a time, 'Tis a necessity.

--Emily Dickinson

For love is immortality.

--Emily Dickinson

My best Acquaintances are those With Whom I spoke no Word.

--Emily Dickinson

What Soft -- Cherubic Creatures --
These Gentlewomen are --
One would as soon assault a Plush --
Or violate a Star.

--Emily Dickinson

Pain has an element of blank.

--Emily Dickinson

By Chivalries as tiny, A Blossom, or a Book, The seeds of smiles are planted- Which Blossom in the dark.

--Emily Dickinson

I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if they have to try,
And whether, could they choose between,
They would not rather die.

--Emily Dickinson

I cling to nowhere until I fall -- the crash of Nothing.

--Emily Dickinson

Experiment to me
Is every one I meet.
If it contain a kernel?
The figure of a nut
Presents upon a tree,
Equally plausibly;
But meat within is requisite,
To squirrels and to me.

--Emily Dickinson

I felt a clearing in my mind
As if my brain had split ;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.
The thought behind I strove to join
Unto the thought before,
But sequence ravelled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor.

--Emily Dickinson

He deposes Doom Who hath suffered him.

--Emily Dickinson

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, Eyes;
I wonder if It weighs like Mine,
Or has an Easier size.

--Emily Dickinson

Hope is a thing with feathers.

--Emily Dickinson

My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun.

--Emily Dickinson

If fame belonged to me, I could not escape her; if she did not, the longest day would pass me on the chase, and the approbation of my dog would forsake me.

--Emily Dickinson

What fortitude the Soul contains, That it can so endure The accent of a coming Foot- The opening of a Door.

--Emily Dickinson

Life is the finest secret. So long as that remains, we must all whisper.

--Emily Dickinson

But it is growing damp and I must go in. Memory's fog is rising.

--Emily Dickinson

The Babies we were are buried, and their shadows are plodding on.

--Emily Dickinson

A color stands abroad on solitary hills that silence cannot overtake, but human nature feels.

--Emily Dickinson

She rose to his requirement, dropped
The playthings of her life
To take the honorable work
Of woman and of wife.

--Emily Dickinson

Beauty is not the cause of something, it is what it is.

--Emily Dickinson

Remember and care for me sometimes, and scatter a fragrant flower in this wilderness life of mine by writing me.

--Emily Dickinson

A Letter is a Joy of Earth -- It is denied the Gods.

--Emily Dickinson

Wild Nights--Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Our luxury!
Futile--the winds--
To a heart in port--
Done with the compass--
Done with the chart!
Rowing in Eden--
Ah, the sea!
Might I but moor-- Tonight--
In thee!

--Emily Dickinson

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me, the simple news that nature told, with tender majesty. Her message is committed, to hands I cannot see; for love of her, sweet countrymen, judge tenderly of me.

--Emily Dickinson

They say that Time assuages -- Time never did assuage -- An actual suffering strengthens As Sinews do, with age -- Time is a Test of Trouble -- But not a Remedy -- If such it prove, it prove too There was no Malady.

--Emily Dickinson

A Deed knocks first at Thought And then -- it knocks at Will -- That is the manufacturing spot.

--Emily Dickinson

To be alive is power; existence in itself; without a further function; omnipotence.

--Emily Dickinson

Hunger is a way
Of standing outside windows
The entering takes away.

--Emily Dickinson

To hang our head ostensibly,
And subsequent to find
That such was not the posture
Of our immortal mind,
Affords the sly presumption
That, in so dense a fuzz,
You, too, take cobweb attitudes
Upon a plane of gauze!

--Emily Dickinson

Pardon My Sanity In A World Insane.

--Emily Dickinson

My life closed twice before its close;

It yet remains to see

If Immortality unveil

A third event to me,

So huge, so hopeless to conceive,

As these that twice befell.

Parting is all we know of heaven,

And all we need of hell.

--Emily Dickinson

Love can do all but raise the Dead I doubt if even that From such a giant were withheld Were flesh equivalent But love is tired and must sleep, And hungry and must graze And so abets the shining Fleet Till it is out of gaze.

--Emily Dickinson

A Clock stopped --
Not the Mantel's --
Geneva's farthest skill
Can't put the puppet bowing --
That just now dangled still.

--Emily Dickinson

We are the only poets, Emily told Susan, and everyone else is prose.

--Emily Dickinson

So instead of getting to Heaven, at last -- I'm going, all along.

--Emily Dickinson

The past is such a curious creature,
To look her in the face
A transport may reward us,
Or a disgrace.
Unarmed if any meet her,
I charge them, fly !
Her rusty ammunition
Might yet reply !

--Emily Dickinson

She died -- this was the way she died; And when her breath was done, Took up her simple wardrobe And started for the sun. Her little figure at the gate The angels must have spied, Since I could never find her Upon the mortal side.

--Emily Dickinson

Action is redemption.

--Emily Dickinson

Remorse is memory awake.

--Emily Dickinson

Mine Enemy is growing old --
I have at last Revenge --
The Palate of the Hate departs --
If any would avenge

Let him be quick -- the Viand flits --
It is a faded Meat --
Anger as soon as fed is dead --
'Tis starving makes it fat.

--Emily Dickinson

The sailor cannot see the north but knows the needle can.

--Emily Dickinson

Longing, it may be, is the gift no other gift supplies.

--Emily Dickinson

Experiment has a stimulus which withers its fear.

--Emily Dickinson

Such is the force of Happiness -- The Least can lift a ton Assisted by its stimulus.

--Emily Dickinson

I never lost as much but twice,
And that was in the sod.

--Emily Dickinson

To venerate the simple days Which lead the seasons by, Needs but to remember That from you or I They may take the trifle Termed mortality!

--Emily Dickinson

The sweets of pillage can be known To no one but the thief, Compassion for integrity Is his divinest grief.

--Emily Dickinson

There is a pain so utter, it swallows being up; The covers the abyss with a trance So memory can step around, across, upon it.

--Emily Dickinson

The Past is such a curious Creature To look her in the Face A Transport may receipt us Or a Disgrace.

--Emily Dickinson

To lose ones faith-surpass The loss of an Estate- Because Estates can be Replenished- faith cannot.

--Emily Dickinson

Who never wanted, ― maddest joy
Remains to him unknown ;
The banquet of abstemiousness
Surpasses that of wine.
Within its hope, though yet ungrasped
Desire's perfect goal,
No nearer, lest reality
Should disenthrall thy soul.

--Emily Dickinson

Affection is like bread, unnoticed till we starve, and then we dream of it, and sing of it, and paint it, when every urchin in the street has more than he can eat.

--Emily Dickinson

The Soul unto itself
Is an imperial friend,
Or the most agonizing Spy
An Enemy -- could send.

--Emily Dickinson

A power of Butterfly must be -- The Aptitude to fly Meadows of Majesty concedes And easy Sweeps of Sky .

--Emily Dickinson

Apparently with no surprise To any happy Flower The Frost beheads it at its play -- In accidental power -- The blonde Assassin passes on -- The Sun proceeds unmoved To measure off another Day For an Approving God.

--Emily Dickinson

It dropped so low in my regard
I heard it hit the ground,
And go to pieces on the stones
At bottom of my mind;
Yet blamed the fate that fractured, less
Than I reviled myself
For entertaining plated wares
Upon my silver shelf.

--Emily Dickinson

To lose what we have never owned might seem an eccentric bereavement, but Presumption has its own affliction as well as claim.

--Emily Dickinson

If fame belonged to me, I could not escape her; if she did not, the longest day would pass me on the chase, and the approbation of my dog would forsake me then. My barefoot rank is better.

--Emily Dickinson

THE soul should always stand ajar, That if the heaven inquire, He will not be obliged to wait, Or shy of troubling her. Depart, before the host has slid The bolt upon the door, To seek for the accomplished guest, -- Her visitor no more.

--Emily Dickinson

We never know we go when we are going- We jest and shut the Door- Fate-following-behind us bolts it- And we accost no more.

--Emily Dickinson

Behold this little Bane- The Boon of all alive- As common as it is unknown The name of it is Love.

--Emily Dickinson

I had a terror-since September -I could tell to none-and so I sing, as the Boy does by the Burying Ground-because I am afraid.

--Emily Dickinson

That short, potential stir
That each can make but once,
That bustle so illustrious
Tis almost consequence,
Is the eclat of death.

--Emily Dickinson

Look back on time with kindly eyes, He doubtless did his best; How softly sinks his trembling sun In human nature's west!

--Emily Dickinson

A Bayonet's contrition is nothing to the dead.

--Emily Dickinson

The Heart is the Capital of the Mind-- The Mind is a single State-- The Heart and the Mind together make A single Continent-- One--is the Population-- Numerous enough-- This ecstatic Nation Seek--it is Yourself.

--Emily Dickinson

God gave a loaf to every bird, But just a crumb to me.

--Emily Dickinson

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