The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series Two

by Emily Dickinson

Life, Poem 53: Returning

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1896
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Dickenson, E. (1896). The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series Two.Boston, MA: Roberts Brothers.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.6
  • Word Count: 131
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, american literature, emily dickinson, poems, poetry, series 2
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I years had been from home,
And now, before the door,
I dared not open, lest a face
I never saw before

Stare vacant into mine
And ask my business there.
My business, — just a life I left,
Was such still dwelling there?

I fumbled at my nerve,
I scanned the windows near;
The silence like an ocean rolled,
And broke against my ear.

I laughed a wooden laugh
That I could fear a door,
Who danger and the dead had faced,
But never quaked before.

I fitted to the latch
My hand, with trembling care,
Lest back the awful door should spring,
And leave me standing there.

I moved my fingers off
As cautiously as glass,
And held my ears, and like a thief
Fled gasping from the house.