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About this Poem 

This version of “A Day” appeared in the 1891 edition of Poems by Emily Dickinson, edited by Mabel Loomis Todd and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Between 1850 and 1866, ten Dickinson poems appeared in newspapers, all anonymously and likely without her knowledge. 

A Day

I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.

The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”

But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while

Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.
 

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

Born in 1830 in Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson is considered, along with Walt Whitman, the founder of a uniquely American poetic voice.

by this poet

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

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –  
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My Mind was going numb –  

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my
poem
A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass—
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around—
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
poem
The Soul unto itself
Is an imperial friend  –  
Or the most agonizing Spy  –  
An Enemy  –  could send  – 

Secure against its own  –  
No treason it can fear  –  
Itself  –  its Sovereign  –  of itself
The Soul should stand in Awe  –