I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, eyes – I wonder if It weighs like Mine – Or has an Easier size. I wonder if They bore it long – Or did it just begin – I could not tell the Date of Mine – It feels so old a pain – I wonder if it hurts to live – And if They have to try – And whether –
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I like to see it lap the Miles (43)
I like to see it lap the Miles, And lick the valleys up, And stop to feed itself at tanks; And then, prodigious, step Around a pile of mountains, And, supercilious, peer In shanties by the sides of roads; And then a quarry pare To fit its sides, and crawl between, Complaining all the while In horrid, hooting stanza; Then chase itself down hill And neigh like Boanerges; Then, punctual as a star, Stop—docile and omnipotent— At its own stable door.
Born in 1830 in Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson lived in almost total physical isolation from the outside world and is now considered, along with Walt Whitman, the founder of a uniquely American poetic voice.