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Emily Dickinson - There's something quieter than sleep

There's something quieter than sleep
Within this inner room!
It wears a sprig upon its breast --
And will not tell its name.

Some touch it, and some kiss it --
Some chafe its idle hand --
It has a simple gravity
I do not understand!

I would not weep if I were they --
How rude in one to sob!
Might scare the quiet fairy
Back to her native wood!

While simple-hearted neighbors
Chat of the "Early dead" --
We -- prone to periphrasis
Remark that Birds have fled!

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Added: Jan 9 2004 | Viewed: 14974 times | Comments and analysis of There's something quieter than sleep by Emily Dickinson Comments (4)

There's something quieter than sleep - Comments and Information

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 45. There's something quieter than sleep
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: Published/Written in 1955

Comment 4 of 4, added on February 12th, 2009 at 9:28 AM.

Obviously the poem is about the idea of death. She goes through saying that "some touch it, some kiss it...chafe it's idle hand"; we play and tempt death all the time. Then she talks about sobbing, how rude it is to disrespect death, for the "fairy" will go back to it's "native wood" being here with us. She is not cautioning the silence of death but more so the respect of death. The simple-hearted neighbors talk about how people die young, but we are prone to miss the fact that death is with us and has crept up on us (the birds have fled in fear while we still remain "prone to periphraisis").

just my opinion.

brew from United States
Comment 3 of 4, added on December 13th, 2005 at 9:09 AM.

i think that this poem shows what emily felt about the deaths of her friends/relatives

benjamin kennady
Comment 2 of 4, added on October 19th, 2005 at 1:48 PM.

I understood it more along the lines of death being the silence she spoke of, and that it was not death that weeped but the people for the dead, and that this weeping was an interruption of the perfect silence (death itself). In the poem, this weeping scared away the birds, destroying the calm and silence of the dead.

Jessie from United States

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