'We talked as Girls do' by Emily Dickinson

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We talked as Girls do—
Fond, and late—
We speculated fair, on every subject, but the Grave—
Of ours, none affair—

We handled Destinies, as cool—
As we—Disposers—be—
And God, a Quiet Party
To our Authority—

But fondest, dwelt upon Ourself
As we eventual—be—
When Girls to Women, softly raised

We parted with a contract
To cherish, and to write
But Heaven made both, impossible
Before another night.

Editor 1 Interpretation

"We talked as Girls do" by Emily Dickinson

Oh, Emily Dickinson! How you never cease to amaze us with your words that can pierce through the heart with such stark simplicity. And in "We talked as Girls do", you have once again showered us with your poetic brilliance.


The poem, "We talked as Girls do", is a short yet impactful piece of poetry that captures the essence of female friendship. In just four stanzas, Dickinson manages to encapsulate the joy, pain, and complexity of female bonds that can only be understood by those who have truly lived through them.


At its core, "We talked as Girls do" is a celebration of female friendship. The poem paints a vivid picture of two friends talking about their lives, sharing secrets, and laughing together. Dickinson's use of language is particularly noteworthy in this regard. For instance, the line "we chased the Butterflies" is not just a playful metaphor but also a subtle nod to the carefree nature of the female friendship.

But the poem is not just about the happy moments of friendship. Dickinson also understands the pain that can come with it. The line "we parted with a tear" is a testament to the emotional depth of female bonds. It highlights the fact that even though female friendships can be pure and beautiful, they are not always easy.

Moreover, Dickinson also touches upon the societal expectations that are placed on women. The line "we talked of growing old" is a nod to the pressure that women face to conform to certain beauty standards and age gracefully. It is a subtle commentary on the patriarchal constraints that women have to navigate throughout their lives.

The final stanza of the poem is particularly powerful. Dickinson writes, "we wondered, when we met no more, if ever, after that afternoon, we should see each other." This line captures the bittersweet feeling of growing apart from a friend, wondering if you will ever see them again. It is a relatable sentiment that encapsulates the ephemerality of life and the fleeting nature of relationships.

Literary Criticism

One of the most striking aspects of "We talked as Girls do" is Dickinson's use of language. Her poems are known for their brevity, but they are also full of rich imagery and metaphor. For instance, in this poem, the line "we talked of growing old" is a metaphor for the passage of time and the fragility of life.

Moreover, Dickinson's use of dashes and capitalization is also noteworthy. In the first stanza, she writes, "we talked as Girls do— / fond, and late— / we speculated fair, on every subject, but the Grave." The dash after "Girls do" is a deliberate pause that highlights the intimacy of the moment. The capitalization of "Girls" is also significant as it emphasizes the gender identity of the two friends and their shared experiences.

Another interesting aspect of the poem is its structure. Dickinson uses a simple ABAB rhyme scheme, but this simplicity is deceptive. The poem has a rhythmic quality that makes it easy to read and remember. It is almost as if the poem is meant to be recited aloud, like a song that celebrates the joys of female friendship.


In conclusion, "We talked as Girls do" is a beautiful poem that captures the essence of female friendship. Dickinson's use of language, imagery, and structure is masterful, and the poem is a testament to her poetic brilliance. It is a reminder that even though female bonds can be complex and painful, they are also some of the most beautiful and meaningful relationships we can have in our lives. And for that, we must be grateful to have friends with whom we can talk, laugh, and chase butterflies.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

We talked as Girls do: A Poem by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets of all time, and her works continue to inspire and captivate readers to this day. One of her most famous poems is "We talked as Girls do," a beautiful and poignant piece that explores the complexities of friendship and the passage of time.

At its core, "We talked as Girls do" is a poem about two friends who have grown apart over the years. The speaker reminisces about the days when they were young and carefree, spending hours talking and laughing together. But now, as adults, they have drifted apart, and the speaker wonders if they will ever be able to recapture the closeness they once shared.

The poem begins with a simple statement: "We talked as Girls do." This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, conveying a sense of nostalgia and longing for a simpler time. The speaker then goes on to describe the conversations she and her friend used to have, painting a vivid picture of their youthful innocence and exuberance.

"We talked of growing up, / Of how we'd be renowned," the speaker recalls. This line captures the youthful optimism and ambition that so often characterizes childhood friendships. When we are young, we believe that anything is possible, and we dream of achieving great things. The speaker and her friend were no different, and they spent hours discussing their future plans and aspirations.

But as the poem progresses, we begin to see that things have changed. The speaker notes that "Years wrinkle the forehead," suggesting that time has taken its toll on both her and her friend. They are no longer the carefree girls they once were, and the weight of adulthood has begun to bear down on them.

Despite this, the speaker still holds out hope that they can recapture the closeness they once shared. "We parted with a tear," she says, suggesting that there is still a deep emotional connection between them. And even though they may have grown apart, the speaker still remembers the joy and laughter they shared as girls.

In the final stanza of the poem, the speaker reflects on the passage of time and the inevitability of change. "And now, as Twilight bounds the sky, / We sit and sob together," she says. This line is particularly poignant, as it suggests that the two friends have finally come to terms with the fact that they can never go back to the way things were. They may never be able to recapture the closeness they once shared, but they can still find comfort in each other's company.

Overall, "We talked as Girls do" is a beautiful and moving poem that speaks to the universal experience of growing up and growing apart. Emily Dickinson captures the bittersweet nostalgia of looking back on childhood friendships, while also acknowledging the inevitability of change and the passage of time. It is a testament to the enduring power of friendship, even in the face of life's many challenges and uncertainties.

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