I can wade Grief —
Whole Pools of it —
I’m used to that —
But the least push of Joy
Breaks up my feet —
And I tip — drunken —
Let no Pebble — smile —
‘Twas the New Liquor —
That was all!

Power is only Pain —
Stranded, thro’ Discipline,
Till Weights — will hang —
Give Balm — to Giants —
And they’ll wilt, like Men —
Give Himmaleh —
They’ll Carry — Him!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem I can wade Grief


  1. frumpo says:

    Joy affects me much more than sorrow.

  2. Piper says:

    This poem has amazing images. I think this poem speaks to conditions of the time and coping methods. Difficult times taught many “how” to deal with sadness and grief. If difficulties are the norm, we’re used to dealing with them. So when something joyful happens, it throws us for a loop. This poem reminds me in many ways of TS Eliot’s “The Waste Land.”

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