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November 27th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 279,625 comments.
Analysis and comments on If I can stop one Heart from breaking by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 17 of 537, added on June 3rd, 2005 at 5:30 PM.

This beautiful poem -- which expresses the wish of the human heart to make
a difference to others, to help those in pain and need -- is a wonderful
companion to "Faith -- is the Pierless Bridge," which is my all-time
favorite poem by Dickinson or perhaps by anyone.

By Faith, the Pierless Bridge, too slender for the eye, we can know that we
do make a difference, that our efforts affect others in a positive way,
that we do not live in vain if we are committed to living out of love for
others in the world.

There is a sort of poetic hyperbole in the poem -- one I first heard in
American Literature class in 11th grade back in the 1960's. Of course, it
isn't about cooling just one pain or stopping just one heart from breaking
or helping one fainting robin. But how often, faced with a given
situation, have I felt that if I can just do this one thing, it will make a
difference -- and at that moment, I have the encouraging, quickening
experience that maybe my life does make a difference after all.

I think this poem expresses that brilliantly.

Dickinson is so much more than "Sweet Emily" -- the poet who explored the
meaning of existence, the mysteries of life and death, joy, hope, faith and
despair. That she was such a shy person, to the point of reclusiveness,
makes her work all the more wonderful, especially considering she was only
negligibly published during her lifetime. Well over a hundred years after
her death, what she wrote is still being read, pondered, considered.

Emily Dickinson, as it has turned out, made a most profound difference and
she still is making a difference. As long as there are books and the
English language persists, she will continue to do so.

I cannot remain unmoved when I read her work and I am so far from alone in

Comment 16 of 537, added on June 3rd, 2005 at 3:54 PM.

This year in english class we read this poem for the first time. And i fell
in love with it. I think that the vary way Emily speaks about love and
helping others through heart breaks it absolutly touching. She is an
amazing writer.

Sarah from United States
Comment 15 of 537, added on June 3rd, 2005 at 2:13 PM.

I remember reading this poem for the first time in 8th grade. The words
have haunted me ever since, mumbling in my memory. This poem has become my

michele from United States
Comment 14 of 537, added on June 2nd, 2005 at 6:01 PM.

I think this poem has a quiet desperation about it, a stalwart belief in
virtue being the only true goal.

Brendan Webber from Canada
Comment 13 of 537, added on May 15th, 2005 at 5:41 AM.

i love this poem because its very beautiful....emily really had a great
heart......maybe she wrote this one because she dont want to see other
people suffering from a pain that she had also felt.............

rachelle from Philippines
Comment 12 of 537, added on March 30th, 2005 at 6:21 PM.

In our grade 9 language art class right now, we are reading the poem If I
Can Stop One Heart From Breaking, only it is a different virson from this.
I think that is was a shame that such good talent was hiden for this long

*~Lulu~* from Canada
Comment 11 of 537, added on February 18th, 2005 at 10:40 AM.

this poem is really touching and makes me think of what i have in life!

Ducky from United States
Comment 10 of 537, added on December 16th, 2004 at 11:39 PM.

While most interpret this poem as the whole "help others" thing, that's not
how I see it. In my opinion, that's just a little cliche and so different
from her other poems. It seems as though she's being more literal (i.e.
actually meaning *one* bird). Since she lived her life in seclusion, it
sounda as though she were trying to give her own life meaning, and convince
herself that every small thing that *she* did made a difference. A little
more depressing, but more realistic in my mind. (We're singing an
arrangement of this in choir and it's GEORGEOUS!)

Cayla from United States
Comment 9 of 537, added on December 2nd, 2004 at 1:01 PM.

I think this is a very profound poem. It's one if my favorites. I like it
because it has a true meaning.

Vianney from Honduras
Comment 8 of 537, added on November 13th, 2004 at 9:34 PM.

Emily suffered so much of her own pain, I feel this poem reflects her
desire to help others who fought the depression which resulted in her
agorophobia and sadness that is reflected in many of her "winter" poems. A
perceptive and awesome poet for all time.
Thanks Emily!


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Information about If I can stop one Heart from breaking

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 919. If I can stop one Heart from breaking
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 34004 times
Poem of the Day: Nov 6 2008

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