The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series Two

by Emily Dickinson

Love, Poem 5: The Letter

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: 191
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, american literature, emily dickinson, poems, poetry, series 2
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"Going to him! Happy letter! Tell him —
Tell him the page I didn't write;
Tell him I only said the syntax,
And left the verb and the pronoun out.
Tell him just how the fingers hurried,
Then how they waded, slow, slow, slow;
And then you wished you had eyes in your pages,
So you could see what moved them so.

"Tell him it wasn't a practised writer,
You guessed, from the way the sentence toiled;
You could hear the bodice tug, behind you,
As if it held but the might of a child;
You almost pitied it, you, it worked so.
Tell him — No, you may quibble there,
For it would split his heart to know it,
And then you and I were silenter.

"Tell him night finished before we finished,
And the old clock kept neighing 'day!'
And you got sleepy and begged to be ended —
What could it hinder so, to say?
Tell him just how she sealed you, cautious,
But if he ask where you are hid
Until to-morrow, — happy letter!
Gesture, coquette, and shake your head!"