The Other Emily

I have been gradually beginning to work my way through more of Emily Dickinson’s poetry here and there when I can.  I know most of you know I was named after her by my English professor father. (…and like I say: no pressure or anything)  But, I was not my father’s student, I was his daughter and I may have picked up a fair amount from growing up in that environment, but I was my own student as well…pursuing my own path. And while writing became a passion, I never considered myself a poet…maybe only until recently when started putting my stale poems on WP for safe-keeping.  And even then, I’m still getting used to the idea.

Emily wrote some 1800 poems, did try – mostly in vain – to get published, and only after her death were the true extent of her works discovered.  We have ways to self-publish these days, WP being one way, and so I wonder what Emily would have done had she lived today.

Meanwhile, this poem is an instant favorite. It ranks up there with my other favorite, “One need not be a chamber to be haunted.”

I love her imagination…

Namaste, the other other Emily.


I know some lonely Houses off the Road
A Robber’d like the look of—
Wooden barred,
And Windows hanging low,
Inviting to—
A Portico,

Where two could creep—
One—hand the Tools—
The other peep—
To make sure all’s asleep—
Old fashioned eyes—
Not easy to surprise!

How orderly the Kitchen’d look, by night,
With just a Clock—
But they could gag the Tick—
And Mice won’t bark—
And so the Walls—don’t tell—

A pair of Spectacles ajar just stir—
An Almanac’s aware—
Was it the Mat—winked,
Or a Nervous Star?
The Moon—slides down the stair—
To see who’s there!

There’s plunder—where—
Tankard, or Spoon—
Earring—or Stone—
A Watch—Some Ancient Brooch
To match the Grandmama—
Staid sleeping—there—

The Sun has got as far
As the third Sycamore—
Screams Chanticleer
“Who’s there”?

And Echoes—Trains away,
While the old Couple, just astir,
Fancy the Sunrise—left the door ajar!

~ Emily Dickinson