A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem A word is dead


  1. Tangkilisan says:

    What kind of poetry is this? lyric, narrative or dramatic?

  2. Erin says:

    I find it amazing that she could fit so much meaning into such few words. It makes me think of the riddle “what can’t exist once it’s name is spoken? silence” this poem is awesome

  3. Gail says:

    Actually she published about 7. And this is one of my favorite poems by her. I so few word, she expresses so much.

  4. marshall says:

    theres no way to find out when these were written. When she died, over 2000 poems were found in her closet, unpublished. She had something like 20 poems published in her lifetime, the rest she kept secret. So no one knows when most were written

  5. Ana-Luciana says:

    This poem is great….it shows us that we sometimes forget about the importance of words and what they mean to other people…

  6. Charisse Powell says:

    This is one of the 2 poems I claim as my favorites. Emily Dickinson was a wonderful writer of poetry.

  7. John E. Muench says:

    I do love this poem and quote it often. I just wished this site had the date this and other poems were written by the author, and not by a publisher. LOL, I know that if she died in 1886, then she could not have written it in 1955. It was published then, but when did Emily Dickenson write it?

  8. Sam says:

    I absolutely adore this poem.

  9. Yasmine Raslan says:

    Just because a majority follows something doesn’t mean it’s right. You can set your own beliefs. And so nothing is really dead until you make that call.

    She’s great.

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