There is a word
Which bears a sword
Can pierce an armed man —
It hurls its barbed syllables
And is mute again —
But where it fell
The saved will tell
On patriotic day,
Some epauletted Brother
Gave his breath away.

Wherever runs the breathless sun —
Wherever roams the day —
There is its noiseless onset —
There is its victory!
Behold the keenest marksman!
The most accomplished shot!
Time’s sublimest target
Is a soul “forgot!”

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem There is a word


  1. Lori Preston says:

    I am wondering what people think the “word” is that she is writing about. My son and I think it is the word “sacrifice.” It has barbed syllables and is “mute” as soon as the sacrifice is made. Those that were saved by the sacrifice, can live to tell the story. And, a sacrifice is made for a cause. The cause is remembered but not the person. However, I get lost in the last stanza.

  2. KHALID says:

    I think she have a good heart feeling ,

  3. Shama T. Bukhari says:

    she wrote this poem for those who sarificed lives for the country..they wont be remembered….only the victory will..though!dead to the world but will always live in her heart..a beautiful poem of those war times.

  4. chelsea williams says:

    i think that the poem There Is A Word , was a very strong well-written poem . she really put alot of thinkin into it.

  5. Tiffany says:

    This is such a wonderful poem to have shared. I have a book full of her poems. I admire her.

    The day is bright
    the night is dsrk
    watch yorself at all times
    they are watching is part of one poem.
    I think that this poem means that everywhere she looked there was a war and that is what kept her from
    leaving her home.

  6. Emile Moelich says:

    The tongue makes the word.
    No man can tame the tongue.
    The tongue sets on fire the course of nature.
    The tongue ‘can pierce an armed man.’

  7. Crazzylaidbackfunchick says:

    Im doing research on Emily for an assignment, this is the first poem I came about.. And i too think that this is about a victory during the civil war..a victory that will be celebrated by others but the indiviuals who fought and won this victory will be forgotten with time and only those close to the lost lives will remember them. Time will forget the names of those who lost their lives for this country but not the victory…
    A very good poem, it really means something to me..
    I will keep reading her poetry even after im done with my assignment.. She has an interesting way with words..

  8. dominig says:

    the first stanza is short, and limited giving it a rhythm of breaths maby acting as the last breaths of the dying soldier

  9. dominic says:

    i think that the name is a literary device that enfasises the meaning of the poem, forgoten. the title is more like
    “there is a word, that i can’t remember”. the poem means that everyone will remember great feats in history, but not names. time will wipe the memory of the people who made history, but maby “The saved will tell
    On patriotic day,
    Some epauletted Brother
    Gave his breath away.” means that the family and friends of the fallen will always remember

  10. Jess says:

    I love this poem, to me it speaks of the power of words. Read it again and I think you’ll see what I mean.

  11. May says:

    When one’s soul is forgotten, (by that one’s self) God marks that one as a target, by way of the graciousness of time and living that sould will be woke up: One day conviction of who you really are will hit you.

  12. ally says:

    o this was very good! i loved it soo much i am doing it for a project for school!

  13. Erin says:

    To me this poem speaks of the faceless soldiers whose names we shall never know. Instead, the history books will celebrate a glorious victory, but not every man’s accomplishments. They are forgotten.

  14. J.C says:

    I believe that the poem is very good. Not to mention how hard it is to think about how it feels to be forgotten about.

  15. Sarah says:’s a nice poem with such lovely words…it makes people realize sometimes in some victory there’s a soul(person) behind it that we forgot about…it’s a nice poem n can make people realize that it’s hurt when we strive to get something than be forgotten when we achieve it…..dickinson just doesn’t want it happens to her…that’s y she wrote it…i think!

  16. Laura says:

    All people fear that they will be forgotten after they die. Perhaps Emily wrote this poem during the war, for she seems to say that the bravest of men-soldiers- are likely to die anonymously on the battlefield and will be unable to keep their memory alive.

  17. mike jones says:

    its very bad and didnt like it

  18. Brittany says:

    I may not have a college level analsis, but I think it is about how terrible it is to be forgotten. maybe I am way off base. It is a wonderful poem though.

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