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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 now considered, along with Walt Whitman, the founder of a uniquely American poetic voice.

by this poet

poem
The Soul selects her own Society —
Then — shuts the Door —
To her divine Majority —
Present no more —

Unmoved — she notes the Chariots — pausing —
At her low Gate —
Unmoved — an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat —

I've known her — from an ample nation —
Choose One —
Then — close the Valves of her attention —
2
poem
One Sister have I in our house -	
And one a hedge away.	
There's only one recorded,	
But both belong to me.	
  
One came the way that I came -	        
And wore my past year's gown -	
The other as a bird her nest,	
Builded our hearts among.	
  
She did not sing as we did -	
It was a different tune	-     
Herself
poem
I cannot live with You – 
It would be Life – 
And Life is over there – 
Behind the Shelf

The Sexton keeps the Key to – 
Putting up
Our Life – His Porcelain – 
Like a Cup – 

Discarded of the Housewife – 
Quaint – or Broke – 
A newer Sevres pleases – 
Old Ones crack – 

I could not die – with You – 
For One must