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He Ate and Drank the Precious Words
Emily Dickinson


He ate and drank the precious words,
His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,
And this bequest of wings
Was but a book. What liberty
A loosened spirit brings!

This poem is in the public domain.




Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) is considered a major American poet, though she was not accorded this honor until well after her death, when her younger sister discovered and began to share the enormous body of work that Emily left behind. A recluse who almost always wore white, Emily was born to a prominent Massachusetts family and spent the bulk of her life inside her home in Amherst. Only seven of her poems were published during her lifetime, and virtually none were published as originally written until the mid 1950s. (Emily's odd punctuation, capitalization, and formatting did not meet with standard publishing  “approval” for earlier editions.)  There is a whimsical nature to many of her poems, although the subject of death was the most frequent recurring theme.


Post New Comment:
nobody did it better ~ Judy
Posted 03/01/2012 05:19 PM
I sometimes think of some of Emily's work as elongated Haiku. No one can write like Emily.
Posted 03/01/2012 05:03 PM
I like it! She puts so much into a few words.
Posted 03/01/2012 12:15 PM
Ah. A Master!
Posted 03/01/2012 11:04 AM
Emily opened my eyes to the power and wonder of poetry. Reading this poem, I can see why.
Posted 03/01/2012 08:13 AM
Love that Emily. She always gets it just right.
Posted 03/01/2012 06:24 AM

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