Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of Victory

As he defeated — dying —
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem Success is counted sweetest

31 Comments

  1. Emily Dickenson from the grave says:

    this poem might be a mask behind which is hidden a message,there is a code dating back from the Roman era possibly. FIND IT AND YOU WILL FIND A SURPRISE

  2. Ameera says:

    this poem”s message is so clear
    the person who lacks ,understands whatever is lacking better than the person who possesses it

  3. mona says:

    the poem give a meassage that any one can feel success but the loser is the most one who taste success and feel it …

  4. Mervat says:

    Emily Dickinson means in this poem that the losers know the meaning of victory better than the actual winners.Success cannot be realized without the first knowing of hopelessness that comes with losing.You want what you cannot have more than you want what you already do.all things that make life worth living is a gift,and everyone should appreciate the small things, even if they are few and far between.Success is meaningful to those who do not get often.they are able to appreciate it more than someone who is constantly succeeding in life.

  5. Mervat says:

    Emily Dickinson means in this poem that the losers know the meaning of victory better than the actual winners.Success cannot be realized without the first knowing of hopelessness that comes with losing.You want what you cannot have more than you want what you already do.all things that make life worth living is a gift,and everyone should appreciate the small things, even if they are few and far between.Success is meaningful to those who do not get often.they are able to appreciate it more than someone who is constantly succeeding in life.

  6. jona says:

    my own interpretation of this poem is that you will value your greatest success if you yourself have been defeated many times..and still you strive hard to succeed..

  7. frumpo says:

    Only the unsuccessful can know and taste the meaning of success.

  8. Jesse says:

    Greg, how can you say that you don’t like Dickinson because she is messed up? All of histories greatest poets were a little messed up in the head. If you don’t believe me how would you explain Poe? Whitman? Or T.S. Eliot?

  9. billie says:

    this poem is in my opinion a masterpiece, Dickinson displays the human-ness of unappreciation, but even more so than that, it is saying how everything is a compensation of each other..like triumph and defeat, dark and light–without one, we would not recognize the other as what it is.

  10. Brandy says:

    This is my personal interpretation of the poem- I believe as the fallen,defeated soldier lies there dying, he finally realizes just how important the victory was. Not that the winners did not apreciate the victory but they cannot possibly understand what it feels like to lose and while the winners are celebrating have to hear the sounds of victory as he lie there dying. The Ultimate success for this fallen soldier would be to live, not to win the war. It becomes a position of life and death, not who won the war.
    Like I first said, this is my interpretation. And I do not put others down on thiers and neither should anyone else. Everyone has different interpretations which is one of the great things about poetry!

  11. Savvy says:

    ha i did this peom for a project at school! I got assigned emily dickinson as a famous poet and this is the poem I chose!

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