Fear in Writing: Emily Dickinson

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Emily Dickinson

In honor of her birthday, Miss Emily Dickinson's Poem 670:
One need not be a Chamber -- to be Haunted --
One need not be a House --
The Brain has Corridors -- surpassing
Material Place --

Far safer, of a Midnight Meeting
External Ghost
Than its interior Confronting --
That Cooler Host.

Far safer, through an Abbey gallop,
The Stones a'chase --
Than Unarmed, one's a'self encounter --
In lonesome Place --

Ourself behind ourself, concealed --
Should startle most --
Assassin hid in our Apartment
Be Horror's least.

The Body -- borrows a Revolver --
He bolts the Door --
O'erlooking a superior spectre --
Or More --


  1. No one compares to Miss Dickinson.

  2. Love that poem. She was quite a lady.


  3. She is simply the best. Even 180 years later, truth is truth.

  4. I always find her poems to be haunting - they stay with us for a long time :)

  5. I do adore Miss Dickinson, but I honestly don't think I've ever seen that particular poem before. Definitely haunting, but beautiful.

    Thanks for following my blog!

  6. Emily had a way of illustrating interior life, this poem is a prime example.

  7. When I reads her poems I always get the feeling it took her time. I feel her pauses, if that makes any sense.
    Thanks for the poem.
    You have a brilliant weekend.

  8. I hesitate to add to the comments because the poem stands on its own. Let me just say I am so glad so many people feel as moved by Emily Dickinson as I do. And welcome to all the new commenters and followers!


  9. Absolutely love that poem! Thanks for posting it :)

  10. I love that she played with punctuation. A rule-breaker. A rebel.

    Thanks for posting this. :)