The Railway Train

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

The American poet Emily Dickinson and her contemporary Walt Whitman are regarded as the founders of a unique American poetic voice.

As the former lived in seclusion, only ten of her nearly 1800 poems are known to have been published in her lifetime. Her poems are unique for the era in which she wrote because she freely ignored the usual rules of versification. Her work’s main themes are death and immortality.

I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties, by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

To fit its sides, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill

And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop--docile and omnipotent--
At its own stable door.


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