‘Tis not that Dying hurts us so —
‘Tis Living — hurts us more —
But Dying — is a different way —
A Kind behind the Door —

The Southern Custom — of the Bird —
That ere the Frosts are due —
Accepts a better Latitude —
We — are the Birds — that stay.

The Shiverers round Farmers’ doors —
For whose reluctant Crumb —
We stipulate — till pitying Snows
Persuade our Feathers Home.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem ‘Tis not that Dying hurts us so


  1. Peter __ says:

    There is a misprint – found widely online –
    “Shrivers” should be “Shiverers” (Shrivers would be a syllable short)
    The manuscripts show this – e.g. https://www.edickinson.org/editions/2/image_sets/12169827

  2. Anonymous says:

    ahh…i see…for some reason i read that bottom part as available now and not available soon…my bad

  3. frumpo says:

    We fight against death and dying, and we should not.

  4. Amy says:

    i love the first two lines of this poem. death, to me, is nothing to be feared, it is a release, and for those of us who are Christian, it is a homecoming to God, which im sure Emily believed. Living, life, is worse than death is some ways, it amazes me how people dont realize this most of the time.

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