I know some lonely Houses off the Road
A Robber’d like the look of —
Wooden barred,
And Windows hanging low,
Inviting to —
A Portico,
Where two could creep —
One — hand the Tools —
The other peep —
To make sure All’s Asleep —
Old fashioned eyes —
Not easy to surprise!

How orderly the Kitchen’d look, by night,
With just a Clock —
But they could gag the Tick —
And Mice won’t bark —
And so the Walls — don’t tell —
None — will —

A pair of Spectacles ajar just stir —
An Almanac’s aware —
Was it the Mat — winked,
Or a Nervous Star?
The Moon — slides down the stair,
To see who’s there!

There’s plunder — where —
Tankard, or Spoon —
Earring — or Stone —
A Watch — Some Ancient Brooch
To match the Grandmama —
Staid sleeping — there —

Day — rattles — too
Stealth’s — slow —
The Sun has got as far
As the third Sycamore —
Screams Chanticleer
“Who’s there”?

And Echoes — Trains away,
Sneer — “Where”!
While the old Couple, just astir,
Fancy the Sunrise — left the door ajar!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem I know some lonely Houses off the Road


  1. Memeify says:

    Yes I think it about it that way too. I think it can go either way. Right? Tell me if I’m wrong but death is like possessions, relating to your analogy.

  2. frumpo says:

    A fantasy about stealing valuables from an old couples home.

  3. AnnieValerie says:

    I dissagree. I think that it’s very easy to see all of Emily’s writings as dealing with death. However, this poem seems to be a bit light-hearted, comparitively.
    I think that she’s talking about people’s hopes, dreams, and passions, being lost along the way- or stolen away from us during our daily lives without us even ever knowing. This is evident in the fact that the old people in the house don’t even realize that they’ve been stolen when they awake.
    Perhaps, it could also be about losing connection with imagination and nature, all of the elements of nature are in an uproar, but the couple keeps sleeping.

  4. LaurenCathleen says:

    I feel this poem is a metaphor about life and death.In the poem, possessions are stolen from an elderly couple while they sleep, and they don’t even realize it. This is an analogy for how death can come – unobtrusively, quietly stealing our breath and our life without our realizing it.

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