‘Tis so much joy! ‘Tis so much joy!

‘Tis so much joy! ‘Tis so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I,
Have ventured all upon a throw!
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so —
This side the Victory!

Life is but Life! And Death, but Death!
Bliss is, but Bliss, and Breath but Breath!
And if indeed I fail,
At least, to know the worst, is sweet!
Defeat means nothing but Defeat,
No drearier, can befall!

And if I gain! Oh Gun at Sea!
Oh Bells, that in the Steeples be!
At first, repeat it slow!
For Heaven is a different thing,
Conjectured, and waked sudden in —
And might extinguish me!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem ‘Tis so much joy! ‘Tis so much joy!


  1. frumpo says:

    Live life fully, but death and heaven bring uncertainty.

  2. Danielle says:

    This poem really made me think. It is a wonderful poem, and I hope others would enjoy it as much as I did. I think it’s talking about failing, and when you do it shouldn’t mean anything to you. But when you gain, you feel very enlightened. By the way I’m only 13 so, I’m really not sure. Bye!

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