Blog Archives

A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘I should not dare to leave my friend’

On one of Dickinson’s great poems of friendship

‘I should not dare to leave my friend’ is one of Emily Dickinson’s great poems about friendship. Although she lived her life as a recluse in Amherst, Massachusetts, friendship mattered a great deal to Dickinson, as did family. In this poem, she revisits one of the perennial themes of her work – death, and the deathbed moments of the dying – but this time, from the perspective of a friend and comforter watching a loved one depart this mortal realm.

I should not dare to leave my friend,
Because—because if he should die
While I was gone—and I—too late—
Should reach the Heart that wanted me—

If I should disappoint the eyes
That hunted—hunted so—to see—
And could not bear to shut until
They ‘noticed’ me—they noticed me— Read the rest of this entry


A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘Summer Shower’

On Dickinson’s wonderful summer poem

‘A drop fell on the apple tree’ is sometimes known by the title ‘Summer Shower’, although Dickinson (1830-86), famously, didn’t give titles to most of her poems. (It was Dickinson’s original editors, Mabel Loomis Todd and T. W. Higginson, who gave the poem the title by which it has become most familiar.)

A Drop fell on the Apple Tree –
Another – on the Roof –
A Half a Dozen kissed the Eaves –
And made the Gables laugh –

A few went out to help the Brook,
That went to help the Sea –
Myself Conjectured were they Pearls –
What Necklaces could be – Read the rest of this entry

A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘Ah Moon – and Star!’

On a curious Dickinson poem

Emily Dickinson (1830-86) rarely did things the simple way. She used rhyme, but just as often used half-rhyme or pararhyme; she almost always wrote in quatrains, but sometimes broke away from these to write longer stanzas; when she writes about snow she does so without ever actually mentioning that that is her subject. In ‘Ah Moon – and Star!’ she writes a love poem, but, as we might expect from Emily Dickinson, she does so in a quite unexpected way.

Ah, Moon—and Star!
You are very far—
But were no one
Farther than you—
Do you think I’d stop
For a Firmament—
Or a Cubit—or so? Read the rest of this entry