In this short Life
That only lasts an hour
How much — how little — is
Within our power

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem In this short Life


  1. Ed says:

    The power of the poem resides in its shifting meanings. How much and how little are polar opposites. Which way do you the reader want to see it? It’s structured as a question, Iho no question mark.

  2. sky says:

    I really like this poem because it is so true. in life we choose to do so many things the insignificance of one single event is not insignificant at all in fact it could be the most important decision of your life.

  3. Sebastian says:

    I think that it isn’t about ‘make of life what you will’ – But that we are so small in comparison to the Universe that we are powerless to ”Mother Nature” & Time

  4. Alia says:

    i really like this poem
    its short and sweet

  5. Jake says:

    Personally I think that Emily is referring to the insignificance of life. We are only here for a very short time in the eyes of eternity, hence the “hour” statement; and she is saying that we should live life the way that we choose to because before we know it we will be gone and the human race will move on without us, as much as we would like to think that it won’t.

  6. gloria says:

    i think emily is saying we only have one life with one body so treat it well and karma will find its way back around! 🙂

  7. Max says:

    Why does she say that at only lasts an hour?

  8. Cody says:

    I believe that Emily is trying to say that life is what you make of it. You can choose how wonderful or horrible things are, no matter what goes on. We decide what happens.

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