How happy is the little Stone
That rambles in the Road alone,
And doesn’t care about Careers
And Exigencies never fears —
Whose Coat of elemental Brown
A passing Universe put on,
And independent as the Sun
Associates or glows alone,
Fulfilling absolute Decree
In casual simplicity —

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem How happy is the little Stone


  1. steffi says:

    the poem is so nice .
    we are now analyzing it in our english class .
    and I find it difficult to understand at first.
    but if you will focus in it , it gave a meaning that is so valuable.

  2. John Janiero says:

    What it means is that people should be happy just being who they are and enjoy the time you have on this amazing world we call Earth. And it means there is no need to invent Gods as the reason for all of this. It means that existence and everything in the universe is not ours, it was not made for us. We are part of the universe but only a small part. Step outside yourself and see the world anew from the perspective of another animal or inanimate object. Can you? We are all so blind we just see what we want to see and not what’s really there in front of our faces the whole time. We are just temporary passers by in the grand and limitless and timeless expanse and passage of the universe. It’s been here long before we ever came along and it will be here long long after we are all dead and gone. That’s what Emily Dickenson tried to convey in this masterfully simple little vignette that nobody would ever give a split second of thought to just walking down a road and kicking a rock. She thought about it for more than a split second. Pure genious of simplicity and truth shines through like a million suns.

  3. geemaffy says:

    i love this poem it is so awesome and wow!

  4. Any says:

    My simple explanation is:
    The aughtor is thinking about our life, what all we need to have to be happy, to live and to be loved by others. She envies the stone his simplicity –> it doesn’t need anything to be happy, he doesn’t need nothing (no Careers), it just simply is …

  5. Stephanie says:

    This is one of my favorites. To me, it’s about the pure contentment. It’s about being yourself and not getting carried away with things that don’t matter.

  6. K Dog says:

    I love this poem. It is my favorite of Dickenson’s many wonderful poems. 🙂

  7. Stephanie says:

    Emily Dickenson was an extreamly smart women. When you read her poems you should look underneath the obvious. For example, stone could mean rock or maybe gravestone. Then you ralate that word with other words and see how they tie in together. I saw this poem talking about death, which is what atleast 500 of her poems relate to. Stone=gravestone or weight of bones. A coat of Elemental Browm= a cover of dirt. Passing Universe= everyone not thinking of places like the cematary, its forgotten.

  8. Marie-Yves de Poulisante says:

    What is the coat of elemental brown and the passing universe? At first, I thought the coat was society’s attempts to mold individuals and the universe was society, but I am not very sure.

  9. Kate says:

    This poem is so sweet and encouraging. Dickinson points out that when one is content with one’s situation, not worring about careers, or what one looks like, etc. simply living life as it is given, that one is happier and less stressed about what is happening. I love this poem!

  10. stonepoem - says:

    I’ve only just now come across this Dickinson poem and it’s it knocked me out! To me, it is a poem about writing and being an outsider. This is exactly how it feels in the 21st century to be a poet (or rather wanting to be). So hard to forget the trevails of life – to be like this ‘little stone’ and transcend the drudge and bile. Wouldn’t it be nice to just lie there and contemplate and muse? This poem also blows me away because I’ve been busy writing 365 poems for the past year (rather spookily)under the name of ‘stonepoem’. The act of writing the poems has made me feel like a very happy ‘stone’ indeed … but how did she know this would be so? It’s a wonderful, wonderful beacon to anyone feeling slightly outside the norm or trying to be different. It says to me; “It’s ok, to let things wash over you – accept your difference, and it will become commonplace”

    Thankyou Emily Dickinson!

  11. Anonymous says:

    This poem by Dickinson is rather self-explanatory once you are familiar with the Transcendentalist movement which swept the nation during the time period in which Dickinson wrote this poem. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau, and other transcendentalists focused on the individual and being self-relient, preaching nonconformity to common “accepted” beliefs along with a simple life. The little Stone and its happiness in this poem is an extended metaphor for the happiness experienced by a self-reliant individual, not hassled by Careers and the search for wealth, but instead is as “independent as the Sun” and fulfilles “absolute Decree/ In casual simplicity–.”

  12. Oliver says:

    I think this poem is very self-explanatory once you are familiar with the transcendentalist movement that swept the nation during the time period Dickinson wrote this poem. Emerson and other transcendentalists focused on nature and the individual, preaching nonconformity to common belief and simple life. The little stone ands its happiness is an extended metaphor for the happiness of a self-reliant individual not hassled by Careers and the need for prosperity, but instead is as “independent as the Sun”, and fulfills “absolute Decree/ In casual simplicity–.”

  13. Emma Wall says:

    very short!! i cant understand!! duh!!

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