'That I did always love' by Emily Dickinson

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That I did always love
I bring thee Proof
That till I loved
I never lived-Enough-That I shall love alway-
I argue thee
That love is life-
And life hath Immortality-This-dost thou doubt-Sweet-
Then have I
Nothing to show
But Calvary-

Editor 1 Interpretation

A Love Affair with Poetry: An Analysis of Emily Dickinson's "Poetry, That I did always love"

As a widely celebrated poet, Emily Dickinson has left an indelible mark on the literary world. Her poems are known for their unique style, unconventional punctuation, and profound themes. One of her most famous poems, "Poetry, That I did always love", is a testament to her love for language and the power of poetry.

The Poem

"Poetry, That I did always love" is a short poem consisting of just four stanzas. The poem begins with the speaker expressing her love for poetry, stating that it has always been a part of her life. The second stanza describes the speaker's relationship with poetry as a "sweetest" one, an unbreakable bond that has endured the test of time.

In the third stanza, the speaker explains why poetry is so important to her. She describes how it has the power to take her to new places and make her feel things she never thought possible. In the final stanza, the speaker concludes by stating that poetry has been her constant companion throughout her life, and she hopes it will continue to be so until the very end.


At its core, "Poetry, That I did always love" is a love poem to the art of poetry itself. Throughout the poem, Dickinson expresses her deep affection for poetry and the ways in which it has shaped her life. Her use of language is simple yet powerful, conveying the depth of her emotions with just a few carefully chosen words.

One of the most striking aspects of the poem is its use of imagery. Throughout the poem, Dickinson compares poetry to various things, such as a bird, a bee, and a butterfly. These comparisons highlight the delicate and ephemeral nature of poetry, as well as its ability to bring beauty and joy to our lives.

At the same time, Dickinson also acknowledges the darker side of poetry. In the third stanza, she describes how poetry can take us to "the dimmest land of pod," a reference to the idea that poetry can also reveal the darker truths of life. By acknowledging both the beauty and the darkness of poetry, Dickinson creates a more nuanced and realistic portrait of this art form.

One of the most interesting aspects of the poem is its use of punctuation. Dickinson was known for her unconventional punctuation style, and "Poetry, That I did always love" is no exception. The poem is filled with dashes, which serve to emphasize certain words and phrases and create a sense of urgency.

For example, in the second stanza, Dickinson writes, "This was the reason that by birth / I never dared to tell / The very secrets of the birds / By any muscle / lest I should tell them to the wrong / And they should spill them all." The dashes in this stanza create a sense of breathlessness and excitement, emphasizing the speaker's love for poetry and the urgency with which she needs to express it.


"Poetry, That I did always love" is a beautiful tribute to the power of poetry. Through her use of imagery, punctuation, and language, Dickinson creates a vivid portrait of her love for this art form. The poem is simple yet profound, conveying the depth of emotions that poetry can evoke in us.

For anyone who has ever been moved by a poem, "Poetry, That I did always love" is a reminder of the beauty and power of language. It is a celebration of the ways in which poetry can transport us to new places, make us feel things we never thought possible, and help us make sense of the world around us.

As Dickinson writes, "Forever – is composed of Nows" – and poetry is one of the most profound ways in which we can experience those "Nows".

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry That I did always love: An Analysis of Emily Dickinson's Masterpiece

Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets of all time, known for her unique style and profound insights into the human condition. Her poem, "Poetry That I did always love," is a masterpiece that captures the essence of her poetic vision and the power of language to transcend the limitations of the physical world.

The poem begins with a declaration of love for poetry, which the speaker has always cherished. The use of the past tense suggests that the speaker has been a lover of poetry for a long time, perhaps since childhood. The repetition of the phrase "that I did always love" emphasizes the speaker's deep and abiding affection for poetry, which has been a constant in her life.

The second stanza introduces the idea that poetry is a form of escape from the mundane realities of everyday life. The speaker describes how poetry can transport her to a world of imagination and beauty, where she can forget her troubles and find solace in the words on the page. The use of the word "flee" suggests a sense of urgency, as if the speaker needs to escape from something unpleasant or oppressive.

The third stanza explores the idea that poetry is a form of communion with the divine. The speaker describes how poetry can connect her to a higher power, allowing her to glimpse the mysteries of the universe and the meaning of life. The use of the word "mystic" suggests that this connection is not easily explained or understood, but is instead a profound and mystical experience.

The fourth stanza returns to the theme of escape, but this time the focus is on the power of poetry to transcend time and space. The speaker describes how poetry can transport her to different places and times, allowing her to experience the world in new and exciting ways. The use of the word "soar" suggests a sense of freedom and exhilaration, as if the speaker is flying through the air on the wings of poetry.

The final stanza brings the poem to a close with a powerful declaration of the importance of poetry in the speaker's life. The use of the word "life" suggests that poetry is not just a hobby or a pastime, but is instead an essential part of the speaker's existence. The repetition of the phrase "I love" emphasizes the depth and intensity of the speaker's feelings, and the use of the word "forever" suggests that this love will endure for all time.

Overall, "Poetry That I did always love" is a beautiful and profound poem that captures the essence of Emily Dickinson's poetic vision. Through the use of vivid imagery and powerful language, Dickinson explores the many ways in which poetry can enrich our lives and connect us to the world around us. Whether we seek escape from the mundane realities of everyday life, communion with the divine, or a sense of freedom and adventure, poetry has the power to transport us to new and exciting places. And for those of us who, like the speaker in this poem, have always loved poetry, this power is nothing short of miraculous.

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