104 Precious Emily Dickinson Quotes That Will Warm Your Heart

Emily Dickinson

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American poet that was little-known in life but became widely known after her death. She is even regarded as one of the most important figures in American poetry.

Dickinson was born on 10 December 1830 at their family homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her family was prominent but not particularly wealthy. Her grandfather was one of the founders of Amherst College.

Dickinson's father was a lawyer in Amherst and a trustee of Amherst College. Her father was heavily invested in their lives especially their school progress even while away. Dickinson would describe her father as warm but her mother as aloof and cold.

Dickinson attended Amherst Academy for seven years. She liked the school and was an exceptionally bright student. However, from a young age, Dickinson was deeply troubled by the subject of death especially the death of those close to her.

The thought of death made her melancholic. She made several friends at Amherst and in 1847, she began attending Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. She was only there for 10 months before she went back home where she occupied herself with household activities.

With time, Dickinson became more secluded and the deaths as the her close friends affected her. She lived most of her life in isolation. It's said that she was seen as eccentric as locals. She loved white clothes, was reluctant to greet guests, and would hardly leave her bedroom later in life.

Dickinson never married and although she was a prolific writer, she only had 10 publications of her work during her lifetime from her almost 1,800 poems. Her poetry's main theme was death and it was quite unique for her era.

It had short lines, lacked titles, used slant rhyme, and unconventional punctuation and capitalization. Most of her work was published after death and was heavily edited. Here is a collection of the best Emily Dickinson quotes, Emily Dickinson sayings, and Emily Dickinson captions.

Emily Dickinson Quotes

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After great pain, a formal feeling comes – The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs – The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore, And Yesterday, or Centuries before? The Feet, mechanical, go round – Of Ground, or Air, or Ought – A Wooden way Regardless grown, A Quartz contentment, like a stone – This is the Hour of Lead – Remembered, if outlived, As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow – First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go.

A word is dead when it’s been said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day. But a book is only the heart’s portrait β€” every page a pulse.

A word is dead when it’s been said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day. But a book is only the heart’s portrait β€” every page a pulse.

My life closed twice before its close; It yet remains to see If Immortality unveil A third event to me, So huge, so hopeless to conceive, As these that twice befell.

My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.

There’s been a death in the opposite house As laterly as today, I know it by the numb look Such houses have alway.

There’s been a death in the opposite house
As laterly as today,
I know it by the numb look
Such houses have alway.

Some keep the Sabbath going to church; I keep it staying at home, With a bobolink for a chorister, And an orchard for a dome.

Some keep the Sabbath going to church;
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolink for a chorister,
And an orchard for a dome.

Wild Nights β€” Wild Nights! Were I with thee Wild Nights should be Our luxury! Futile β€” the winds β€” To a heart in port β€” Done with the compass β€” Done with the chart! Rowing in Eden β€” Ah, the sea! Might I but moor β€” Tonight β€” In thee!

Wild Nights β€” Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile β€” the winds β€”
To a heart in port β€”
Done with the compass β€”
Done with the chart!

Rowing in Eden β€”
Ah, the sea!
Might I but moor β€” Tonight β€”
In thee!

If you were coming in the fall, I'd brush the summer by With half a smile and half a spurn, As housewives do a fly. If I could see you in a year, I'd wind the months in balls, And put them each in separate drawers, Until their time befalls. If only centuries delayed, I'd count them on my hand, Subtracting till my fingers dropped Into Van Diemen's land.

If you were coming in the fall, I’d brush the summer by With half a smile and half a spurn, As housewives do a fly. If I could see you in a year, I’d wind the months in balls, And put them each in separate drawers, Until their time befalls. If only centuries delayed, I’d count them on my hand, Subtracting till my fingers dropped Into Van Diemen’s land.

One need not be a Chamber β€” to be Haunted β€” One need not be a House β€” The Brain has Corridors β€” surpassing Material Place.

One need not be a Chamber β€” to be Haunted β€”
One need not be a House β€”
The Brain has Corridors β€” surpassing
Material Place.

I am not used to Hope – It might intrude upon – Its sweet parade – blaspheme the place – Ordained to Suffering.

I am not used to Hope –
It might intrude upon –
Its sweet parade – blaspheme the place –
Ordained to Suffering.

The Soul selects her own Society β€” Then β€” shuts the Door β€” To her divine Majority β€” Present no more β€” Unmoved β€” she notes the Chariots β€” pausing β€” At her low Gate β€” Unmoved β€” an Emperor be kneeling Upon her Mat β€” I've known her β€” from an ample nation β€” Choose One β€” Then β€” close the Valves of her attention β€” Like Stone.

The Soul selects her own Society β€”
Then β€” shuts the Door β€”
To her divine Majority β€”
Present no more β€”

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

I’ve known her β€” from an ample nation β€”
Choose One β€”
Then β€” close the Valves of her attention β€”
Like Stone.

Water is taught by thirst; Land, by the oceans passed; Transport, by throe; Peace, by its battles told; Love, by memorial mould; Birds, by the snow.

Water is taught by thirst;
Land, by the oceans passed;
Transport, by throe;
Peace, by its battles told;
Love, by memorial mould;
Birds, by the snow.

I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, eyes – I wonder if It weighs like Mine – Or has an Easier size.

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes –
I wonder if It weighs like Mine –
Or has an Easier size.

If certain, when this life was out, That yours and mine should be, I’d toss it yonder like a rind, And taste eternity.

If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I’d toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.

God is not so wary as we, else He would give us no friends, lest we forget Him! The charms of the heaven in the bush are superseded, I fear, by the heaven in the hand, occasionally.

God is not so wary as we, else He would give us no friends, lest we forget Him! The charms of the heaven in the bush are superseded, I fear, by the heaven in the hand, occasionally.

We were never intimate mother and children while she was our mother - but... when she became our child, the affection came.

We were never intimate mother and children while she was our mother – but… when she became our child, the affection came.

Sisters are brittle things. God was penurious with me, which makes me shrewd with Him. One is a dainty sum! One bird, one cage, one flight; one song in those far woods, as yet suspected by faith only!

Sisters are brittle things. God was penurious with me, which makes me shrewd with Him. One is a dainty sum! One bird, one cage, one flight; one song in those far woods, as yet suspected by faith only!

I'm Nobody! Who are you? Are you – Nobody – too? Then there's a pair of us! Don't tell! they'd advertise – you know! How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – To tell one's name – the livelong June – To an admiring Bog!

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

In such a porcelain life, one likes to be sure that all is well lest one stumble upon one's hopes in a pile of broken crockery.

In such a porcelain life, one likes to be sure that all is well lest one stumble upon one’s hopes in a pile of broken crockery.

If fame belonged to me, I could not escape her; if she did not, the longest day would pass me on the chase, and the approbation of my dog would forsake me then. My barefoot rank is better.

If fame belonged to me, I could not escape her; if she did not, the longest day would pass me on the chase, and the approbation of my dog would forsake me then. My barefoot rank is better.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.

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 ate and drank the precious Words, his Spirit grew robust; He knew no more that he was poor, nor that his frame was Dust.

I have a brother and sister; my mother does not care for thought, and father, too busy with his briefs to notice what we do. He buys me many books, but begs me not to read them, because he fears they joggle the mind.

I have a brother and sister; my mother does not care for thought, and father, too busy with his briefs to notice what we do. He buys me many books, but begs me not to read them, because he fears they joggle the mind.

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.

They might not need me; but they might. I'll let my head be just in sight; a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity.

They might not need me; but they might. I’ll let my head be just in sight; a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity.

I am growing handsome very fast indeed! I expect I shall be the belle of Amherst when I reach my 17th year. I don't doubt that I shall have perfect crowds of admirers at that age. Then how I shall delight to make them await my bidding, and with what delight shall I witness their suspense while I make my final decision.

I am growing handsome very fast indeed! I expect I shall be the belle of Amherst when I reach my 17th year. I don’t doubt that I shall have perfect crowds of admirers at that age. Then how I shall delight to make them await my bidding, and with what delight shall I witness their suspense while I make my final decision.

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?

I had no portrait, now, but am small, like the wren; and my hair is bold, like the chestnut bur; and my eyes, like the sherry in the glass, that the guest leaves.

I had no portrait, now, but am small, like the wren; and my hair is bold, like the chestnut bur; and my eyes, like the sherry in the glass, that the guest leaves.

I dwell in Possibility – A fairer House than Prose – More numerous of Windows – Superior – for Doors.

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors.

About the contents of this page

Amra conducted research on the quotes with the assistance of Annabele.

Maggie organized the quotes into topics.

Charity wrote the introduction copy.

Schenley designed exclusive images for the quotes.

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