Treasure Island

Emily Dickinson

(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886 / Amherst / Massachusetts)

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A Secret told


381

A Secret told—
Ceases to be a Secret—then—
A Secret—kept—
That—can appal but One—

Better of it—continual be afraid—
Than it—
And Whom you told it to—beside—

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Karen Sinclair (1/10/2014 4:04:00 AM)

    Such a clever piece displaying despair (I believe one of her other poems shared that deep secret with her notebook and eventually us) I love how the dashes become pauses yet also a suggestion in my mind that she is storing potential words and names she did not wish to share. A one bitten twice shy moment I think
    I adore her works... (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (1/10/2014 1:36:00 AM)

    .....I agree with Emily, it is better to keep a secret about yourself, than to give to someone else and let them have control over you...when friendships fail, secrets can be used against you! (Report) Reply

  • CourtneyJae noggle (2/16/2010 9:55:00 AM)

    but keeping secrets could be bad..
    If they involved your friends around you..
    you should never keep secrets then.. (Report) Reply

  • Anthony Foster (1/10/2010 4:32:00 PM)

    A secret can be a responsibility,
    That tears at the fabric of the soul,
    Never to be revealed on pain of disloyalty,
    A burden hidden beneath like a shoal,
    Ready to cause shipwreck and grief. (Report) Reply

  • Aira Olayvar (1/10/2010 7:13:00 AM)

    Your friend’s secrets to you might be entrusted, but once you disclose it, you dishonor not just the secret, not just a friend, but you yourself…

    Even how close are we to our friends, we must always keep ourselves our best of friend… to be furtive. In order to live freely and not by the hands of those who felt in-control over us just because they knew something from us. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (1/10/2010 2:14:00 AM)

    A thing of secret develops only suspicion always between two or more! No secret can ever remain a secret at all when it is once let out to anyone! That is the nature of secret! (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (1/10/2009 12:37:00 PM)

    The cryptic lines of 'A Secret told' convey the essence of a message from Emily Dickinson as she crouches behind that partly open door, like a visitor from some distant and dark planet of the soul. The reader pauses to parse the words and the line breaks, all of a piece with the poet's intent. After all, as Emily said, 'much madness is divinest sense /to a discerning eye. /Much sense the starkest madness...'

    Consider well before you blurt out the secret! (Report) Reply

  • Erik Lee (1/10/2008 3:14:00 PM)

    Isn't a secret told a possible break in your social image? Isn't Emily message: better scared than humilated? (Report) Reply

  • Mo. (1/10/2008 2:31:00 PM)

    It sounds like,

    She rather keep a secret about herself,
    Then tell others and be humiliated. (Report) Reply

Read all 18 comments »

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