I never saw a Moor —
I never saw the Sea —
Yet know I how the Heather looks
And what a Billow be.

I never spoke with God
Nor visited in Heaven —
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the Chart were given —

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem I never saw a Moor —


  1. Francesca Berger says:

    Have you ever spoken with anyone who saw the ocean for the first time as an adult? Even someone who has seen photos and movies of the ocean will usually come away from the experience saying that they’d had no idea of the true size and power of the sea until they saw it. I’ve seen similar accounts of a person’s first encounter with the moor. So I wonder if Emily slyly had this in mind when she wrote this piece. Our knowledge of God and heaven is based on even less first-hand knowledge than the sea and the moor. In some versions of this poem the “I” of the poem is certain of Heaven “as if the checks were given”, with seat-checks on a train the most common interpretation of this. Is it possible the poem points out a little the speaker’s overconfidence and our inevitable mis-apprehension of the divine, whatever our understanding of it might be?

  2. m says:

    i finally gone through the whole list 1052 is a lot of poems to chosse form but this is my favorite

  3. Tsukimi says:

    A Billow is a large wave

    Checks are colored seat checks that indicated the destinations of passengers on a train after their tickets have been collected. (Nowadays, we use planes so it is understandable that most people will not know this definition).

    Personally, i think this poem is rather brilliant. It tells us that although we have not seen something, it is there and although we have not seen it through experience, we can depict what it is like within our mind.

  4. wendy says:

    this is depressing……
    and a bit wakk…
    so ……yea…..gbmh

  5. Celenia says:

    emily dickinson’s writings are obviously good if they are still studied today. she lived a very secluded life but was still very aware of her surroundings. It’s proven in her poems. Also, you cannot say people from the 1800’s were not bright. Society needs to read all the imoprtant things that happened then that still help us today.

  6. timtim says:

    absolutely, goos likewise it has a very deep meaning,,,
    it might be so short but the message behind those short and little words has big impact on me,,,
    if u r a real poet u should nave know how to appreciate i may not be a poet but i do appreciate the bueaty within the poem

  7. guest says:

    unfortunately for you, you might not be a published writer, i wouldnt know, but i think that her poems are deep and actually have meaning unlike some othr poems i have read
    Sure, she is not bright
    she lived in th 1800’s for gods sake
    who was bright back then?

    but then again thats just my opinion…
    i really like it…

  8. jessica says:

    this is the worst poem i have ever read. and i should know because i have written 10000 well written poems. emily dickinson was not very bright and that is why it is not good!!

  9. jesse says:

    scanning her mutiple works, one may find that by certain reasons science appears to be another preferable reference for emily dickinson beside, of course, the Bible, Shakespeare’s, and Emerson’s.

  10. hello says:

    in the last line of this poem, it says “As if the checks were given”. but i have looked at several sites and 13 out of 15 say CHART instead of CHECKS. which one is correct??

  11. james greene says:

    we are always asking ourselves, ‘is this true?” and Emily answers for us, “yet certain I am… ” and she expresses her faith in what she knows.
    To those of us who are uncertain of what we know Emily brings confidence and comfort.
    and to learn her story of an isoated,single, woman of the 18th century whose mind could help us understand our minds is a joy. She makes me confident that the human race can create, achieve, and keep faith with itself. Bless her.

  12. Sam says:

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    glad to see ur blog is back online, ciao! bonus

  13. Jack says:

    Dickinson’s oppinion is that you can worship
    God by yourself. Religion is a personal matter to her and it is not wrong that she feels this way.

  14. Sander says:

    Emily’s religious beliefs remain to some extent a point of speculation. Some of her poems indicate one way, some another. Yet I don’t see that as surprising at all. Who on Earth has the same beliefs about God, faith and the Universe his or her entire life? Emily’s constant struggle and search meant that she was not a devoted fundamentalist like so many around her in those days – that instead, she doubted, evaluated, and sought what SHE thought made sense. Yet she went to church somewhat regularly, she read the Bible and knew it practically by heart. Altogether, by today’s standards, she would definitely be called a Christian.

    Regardless of her personal beliefs at the time though, this poem illustrates in a piercingly accurate way the way faith works. As someone above noted; she bought a ticket to Philadelphia on the good faith that it was an existing place. The exact same goes for people of faith where heaven is concerned, whether she believed in her own poem’s conclusion at the time or not.

    To me, it is both one of the most mystifying as well as clarifying poems I can think of, and certainly among her best for it.

  15. Gabrijel says:

    This poem means a lot to me although I red it in a little different version. So what if she didn’t believe in God. In her time, in her conditions! I admire her if so. To write like that almost without influences! She’s one of the greatest poets.

  16. Alan says:

    Purchasing a ticket to travel to Philadelphia required Dickinson to accept the exsistence of such a destination. Likewise, in the poem, she accepts the existence of a place she calls heaven as though the ticket has already been paid.

    As the blind men described the elephant differently according the which part they examined, Dickinson and her father viewed Christianity differently.

    The blind men agreed there was an elephant. Dad and daughter agreed there was a heaven. Everyone was right, but everyone was wrong. Wars have been fought over such trivialities as this.

  17. leo says:

    My opinion of this poem is different with Beth,Emily didn’t believe in God but she believed in truth and herself.She was not easily influence by others.

  18. Beth says:

    I think the poem is terrible it doesnt explain anything!she didnt believe in God!

  19. Kenny says:

    Just because she did not believe in conventional religious practices does not mean that she did not believe in god. She had her own form of worship and it did NOT include conforming to the belief that you can worship one day a week to repent for all of your sins!

  20. Michelle Lee says:

    Emily Dickenson’s Biography stated that she challenged conventional religious viewpoints of her father and the church.
    I always thought that if you challenged something you would be reallt against it or something not write something with so much faith in it!!!!

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