Water, is taught by thirst.
Land — by the Oceans passed.
Transport — by throe —
Peace — by its battles told —
Love, by Memorial Mold —
Birds, by the Snow.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem Water, is taught by thirst.


  1. victoria says:

    This poem really touched me, i lost someone who was really close to me and i didnt realize how much i needed her and loved her until she was gone!

  2. Jemima says:

    Water flows freely through the tap, but it means so little until it dries up. When I am thirsty I long for something that means so little to me. I exist in a peaceful society, but I don’t wake with gratitude everyday because I have not experienced the lack of peace first hand.
    I think we should all stop and look around us and learn to be grateful for those things that are invisible to us until they are gone.

  3. Heather says:

    This poems was great. It really touches you. it makes me appriciate everything i have!

  4. Rene R. says:

    This poem is a very good poem, it realy made me think whats in my life that i don’t appreciate. You sould appreciate the thing you love or dont have before there gone.

  5. Linda says:

    You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

  6. Denver says:

    This poem is very touchy it goes deep into your heart and makes you appreciate what you have in life.

  7. justin hays says:

    this poem is true, we cant appreciate the things we have untill we go without them.

  8. Valencia T. says:

    This is one of the greatesat poems i have ever read in my life. I didn’t understand it at first, but my teacher explained it. Once i realized what it meant i thought it was so true. People never realize what they have until they don’t have it anymore. It’s truly a beautiful poem

  9. Bobby says:

    I Think it is about cows.

  10. Eaton Cowcum says:

    this poem is an inspiration to all people like me. It really makes me feel like i belong in society.

  11. Alberto Sanchez says:

    this poem makes sense after reading the comments

  12. Spiffai says:

    Okay, well I also have to find the relationships between the first and following words of each line.
    Apparently, they’re each polars. One goes without the other. There is no love in death, and no happiness in pain. Also, for the birds part, birds fly south for the winter to avoid snow

  13. Latalya says:

    This poem is one of the best I’ve ever read. The first time i read this I was in class, when i read it at first i didn’t understnad it. But now i do and i see how it relates to real life. I’m glad she wrote this poem because it can open alot of peoples eyes if they let it.

  14. Sam says:

    I think that this poem is really beautiful and has a great meaning! We really don’t appreciate anything until it’s taken away from us.

  15. Shantana says:

    I had to read this poem and I didn’t understand it all. On top of that I had to add a second verse to it. Can someone please explain this poem and give me an example of what to add PLEASE!!

  16. Laura says:

    Maybe I am just a smarty (what can I say) but I understood the meaning right away. I didnt have to “wait” for it to “jump” out. Who knows. This poem is oh so very true.

  17. Hany says:

    I’m trying to do my english homework, is about this poem and there’s a question that I don’t understand.

    Here’s the question: What is the relationship between each lines’s first word and the following words?

    Can somebody help me ?

  18. Laura Anderman says:

    Admittedly, this poem didn’t seem to make much sense. But then I thought about it a bit. Dickenson’s point is that only through polarities can we really understand things…..

    Only when you are TRULY thirsty, can you really understand how wonderful, refreshing, and life-giving water is. How can you understand solid land any better than by leaving it completely behind? Peace means nothing without understanding what people have sacrificed to MAKE that peace. And only in death (“memorial mold”) can you really understand how deep and wonderful love is. It really is a beautiful, resonant poem.

  19. Ashley Carter says:

    I like this poem as well. but to me it makes sense. as like most poetry, the meaning does not jump out at you.
    to me this poem means this:

    In life we cannot appreciate, understand, comprehend anything until its gone or you need it more. Meaning that how do you know what pleasure is without pain? and how to know that you need water if your never thirsty. I think the last bird comment is that birds fly south in the winter…away from the snow. so we should appreciate all the other seasons when they are here- appreciate all the seasons for what they bring to us. we can only do that by having different ones to contrast them by.
    and i find this poem speaking truth

  20. JoAnna Bach says:

    This poem is ok but makes no since. at all

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.