Poetry by Emily Dickinson

Poems by Emily Dickinson

Here is an index to the pages for the Emily Dickinson poems referenced in American Literature (EIL3), plus a few additional favorites.

Emily Dickinson, American poet.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1848,
artist unknown

Todd-Bingham picture collection, 1837-1966 (inclusive). Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University Library; public domain.

“The Soul selects her own Society”

“There is no frigate like a book”

“I’m Nobody! Who are you?”

“Hope is the thing with feathers”

“Because I could not stop for Death”

“March” and “To March” 

You may also enjoy Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, set to music by Aaron Copland.

American poet, Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (1830 – 1886) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts and attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Although her family was prominent in the community, Emily lived a mostly secluded life in the family home, writing many letters. She is remembered for wearing white dresses for most of her life.

Learning more about Dickinson’s poetry

Emily Dickinson’s poems are unique for their time. They feature extensive use unconventional punctuation and capitalization, as well as idiosyncratic vocabulary and imagery. The poems usually have very short lines, no titles, and often use slant rhyme or the ballad stanza, which is a traditional form divided into quatrains. It uses tetrameter for the first and third lines and trimeter for the second and fourth, while rhyming the second and fourth lines (ABCB).

The Emily Dickinson Lexicon is a remarkable online dictionary of all the words from Dickinson’s poetry. Each entry in the dictionary “contains 1) a headword with any inflected forms, 2) the headword’s part of speech, 3) a basic etymology, 4) a list of webplay word collocations from Webster, 5) the definitions of the headword, 6) citation examples by poem number, and 7) a reference list.”

You may read more about poem structure in Versification by Sara Selby.

Hope is the thing with feathers . . .

The Emily Dickinson Museum is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. You can visit and tour the poet’s home. The museum’s website also offers an in-depth biography in 3 parts, beginning here.

Photograph of the poet is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923. See this page for further explanation.