This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me —
The simple News that Nature told —
With tender Majesty

Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see —
For love of Her — Sweet — countrymen —
Judge tenderly — of Me

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem This is my letter to the World


  1. rehan says:

    this is one of emily best poem and really worth liking. through she show her inner feeling.i don,t know her use of dashes. she like shakespeare ,a poet for all times ,thanks

  2. Eun Hye Kim says:

    Emily is writing a letter to the world in the form of a poem. The world does not recognize her because she never stepped foot past her house/garden. She seems to be able to predict that someday people will be reading her poems. She wishes to pass on the messages and lessons that nature has taught her. Emily also has the expectation that the future readers of her poems will enjoy nature as she did (line 7). She requests in the last two lines that the readers will enjoy her poems and not critique them too harshly (unlike some of the people who have left comments here). The topic/abstract image is Nature and the concrete image is a letter. This is a beautiful poem with a great message (: Hope this helps y’all!! ~Kim Eun Hye

  3. kristen says:

    emily was a unique and morally conduced soul. she was a woman of intense passion and intimacy. apart from her eye condition, her reclusive life was in a sense one of detachment and safe isolation by choice free of harsh judgments from a cruel world… i think she never felt truly accepted. her love for women can evasively be seen with her words “her message is committed to hands i cannot see, for love of her… judge tenderly of me.” i think emily was in touch with her devotion to god, love, life and she sought to express her profoundness in beautiful poems which those who are seekers of truth still find resonance in.

  4. Catherine says:

    I just recently studied Emily Dickinson for school, and even though I myself have not had a lot of what some would call ‘life experience’ because of my age, I am still able to at least appreciate this peom. In a few simple but concise lines Emily Dickinson captures the way she views the world and how it accepts her. Of course she wrote about death quite a lot, but her poems were never morbid – they only display her wonder and curiosity at death. We all have this curiosity, though many of us are too afraid of death to even allow ourselves to think about it. However, to say that Emily had never had any life experiences or to make generalizations about her decisions in life is extremely immature. Emily’s isolation allowed her to discover many unique views about the world and life that she would never have made otherwise. And without these discoveries, we would have never been able to see things from a different point of view as she did.
    I would also appreciate it if people commenting would make complete arguements and not just stupid statements without backing them up. Thanks.

  5. dale says:

    wow, yall get way to deep into this. especially you jordie (mostly cause i only read you and kel’s comments). I dont really even know anything about emily dickinson but know that she died of Bright’s disease, not some eye disease. speaking of eye diseases, i have what your talking about and i go outside all the time so even if she did, thats no excuse. just because you like her poetry doesnt mean you have to defend her to the death. she was a recluse, and even though she did have a semi-strong family relationship, she intentionally separated herself from society. and i agree with kel, she does focus on death a little too much. get over it jordie and go get yourself a life.

  6. Jordie says:

    To Kel: Your comment showed your ignorance of Emily Dickinson. If you knew anything at all about her you would realize that she actually was considered “normal” until about her thirty’s. She actually was hurt by a man she fell in love with, she published a few poems in her life, she lowered candy to children out of her bedroom window and she observed the world around her with a very perceptive eye. She was very close to her father and sister, and you saying that she never cared for anyone shows that you are ignorant and uneducated. Also, a theory as to why she had to stay inside is that she had an eye problem that made the bright light of outside extremely painful for her to be in. It was probably this same condition that brought about her early death.

  7. josh buchheit says:

    kel, you’re statement that she never had any experience in life is completely false. Her poetry and reclusiveness are the result of the torment of death and the struggle with the concept of eternity. saying she had no experience with life does not make sense because she was at least 30 yrs. old before she became reclusive!

  8. josh buchheit says:

    To kel: Obviously you’ve never suffered from depression. I might say the same thing you said about Emily Dickinson, because until you’ve been severly hurt enough to seclude yourself from the world, you cannot accurately comment on suffering. Secondly, you completely left out the literary value of the poem. Oh, by the way-people don’t have to read her poems, but they do, that’s why she happens to be one of the most popular poets today. 🙂

  9. Mindy says:

    I think “kel” just proved the point Ms. Dickinson was trying to make with this poem. He calls her “stupid, self-absorbed, and morbid.” I think that’s exactly what she meant by the world being harsh to her. She must have known how “normal” society would view her. Just because a person feels more comfortable in seclusion, society views them as weird and looks down on them. In this poem, Ms. Dickinson was asking people not to judge her because of the life she led. Unfortunately, even today, people are still doing that exact thing.

  10. Mims says:

    Emily dickinson describes her life through this poem; her loneliness and desperate need for a true friend even if she does chose to isolate herself. She obviously states that her one and true friend is nature which is ironic since nature is pictured as “evil” in most poems if you haven’t noticed. Instead she shows that nature is “good” because mother earth has given her the love that she yearns for.It seems as though she has had people walk out on her in this line, “Her Message is committed…” as if mother earth is the only thing that will stay by her side.Ultimately, the poem is ok by my standards but does not develop any empathy from me, which is what most writers want to develop to draw the readers in, so yea i guess it’s ok.

  11. kel says:

    emily dickinson really has no right to say that the world is harsh to her. She shut the world out and buried herself in her poetry. No one should have to accept her or her poems which are so wrapped around herself. You can’t try to write when you have no experience in life. No one can relate. This is why so much of her writings focuses on death. She is so self absorbed because she never tried to care for anyone else. All she can think about is her own endings! ugh so stupid to have to study such a morbid recluse person. If you want to shut yourself off, then shut off all your writings too. No one wants to read them

  12. belle says:

    I bought this book of Dickinson poems a few years back and this poem is the first one in that book. It also happens to be one of my favorite of hers. I agree with what Wallace said about reading more into it. I find that most poems mean more than what they are just saying. That is the beauty of poetry! Also look at the background of the author. I know that when I write, I write from what I know. I think that the same goes for Emily Dickison. I think she wrote this poem based on her isolation. To me she is saying that through her poetry, that she is able to tell the world her thoughts and feelings. She kindly asking a very judgemental world to take it easy on her. In a way, isn’t that what we all want? The world can be harsh and I love how she points it out! I love her work and can go on for hours on it but I bet I have bored you enough!

  13. Wallace says:

    Emily Dickinson is definitely a facinating poet… However her poems carry very subtle messages that takes a great deal of observation and reading to decifer. This poem is about Emily’s isolation from the world; if you’re uninformed of her situation,I suggest you read up on her.The poem also notes the fact of that she was constanly being judged by those around her; despite they not knowing her.

  14. Heather says:

    I always thought this was Emily’s last poem. There’s something so finally about it. She seems sad like- “I wish I had taken time to get to know the outside world” and vice versa. Out of all Emily’s poems, I think I can relate to this one most. We’ve all felt depressed at times and the heart-break just makes me want to reach out and say, “I’m here. You’re not alone.” It’s a wonderful, touching poem and I hope wherever she is, Emily knows how many lives she is touching.

  15. mimi says:

    what do you mean by: this poem is so beautiful? can you comment on it?

  16. NG says:

    I love this poem it, was really beautiful and I love the way she says things to the world in hate and she doesn’t say anything bad. LOVED IT!

  17. mel says:

    ok the first 2 lines give the mood, as somewhat decieved, you can see she’s angry with life.

    -somewhat of a Dickinson fanatic @ 14-

  18. c.l. says:

    this is a wonderful poem because it really expresses her true heartfelt emotions.

  19. shell says:

    I think this poem is amazing! She had such emotion in it and felt free to express her self. I may only be in 10th grade btut I know what I like and i like this poem!

  20. LN says:

    i absolutely LOVE THIS POEM. exspecially THE FIRST TWO LINES. it’s so sad and beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Emily Dickinson better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.