On such a night, or such a night,
Would anybody care
If such a little figure
Slipped quiet from its chair —

So quiet — Oh how quiet,
That nobody might know
But that the little figure
Rocked softer — to and fro —

On such a dawn, or such a dawn —
Would anybody sigh
That such a little figure
Too sound asleep did lie

For Chanticleer to wake it —
Or stirring house below —
Or giddy bird in orchard —
Or early task to do?

There was a little figure plump
For every little knoll —
Busy needles, and spools of thread —
And trudging feet from school —

Playmates, and holidays, and nuts —
And visions vast and small —
Strange that the feet so precious charged
Should reach so small a goal!

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

4 Comments

  1. frumpo says:

    The death of a quiet, young person. It is such a shame. Will any one miss him?

  2. Katie says:

    This is a great poem, but hard to understand if this is a small child or an elderly person. I am doing this for my declamation, so I really need to know! Mainly, I think it can be seen either way. 🙂

  3. DEBBIE DEE says:

    My son is a pediatric oncologist so this poem had great meaning for me. People sometime wonder how a couple can be completely crushed by the death of a small infant. But beside you natural parental love lies thoughts of the future. This child’s loss stands for the loss of so much more. Even the muddy feet. A child is not a child. A child is the future.

  4. Linette Nalbandyan says:

    inspiring and yet a very difficult poem to understand, emily Dickinson is one of the best poet’s that I have ever heard of and read. One day I wish to write and reveal my secrets through poetry!

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