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Today in Literature

May 15, 2009

15 May 1886: American poetess Emily Dickinson passed away at the age of 55.  She was an extremely private poet and fewer than a dozen of her nearly two thousand poems were published while she was living.

My favorite Dickinson poem:

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant–

Success in Cirrcuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightening to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind–

And on death, Dickinson wrote:

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

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