Treasure Island

Emily Dickinson

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

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'They Have Not Chosen Me,' He Said


'They have not chosen me,' he said,
'But I have chosen them!'
Brave—Broken hearted statement—
Uttered in Bethlehem!

I could not have told it,
But since Jesus dared—
Sovereign! Know a Daisy
They dishonor shared!

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Saturday, September 17, 2011

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Comments about this poem ('They Have Not Chosen Me,' He Said by Emily Dickinson )

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  • Deepak Kumar Pattanayak (3/28/2014 1:21:00 AM)

    Sharing honour and dishonour before the ' Sovereign' is what Emily tried to emphasise in this succinct yet
    profound poem........I feel all her poems carry eternity and a little bit penetration needed to understand better
    her poems..................Missed you Emily so much.... (Report) Reply

  • Gone Away (3/27/2010 2:18:00 PM)

    Emily Dickinson sometimes refered to herself as a daisy a flower symbolic of innocence. Jesus is her sovereign and innocent though dishonoured by the betrayal of him. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (3/27/2010 8:13:00 AM)

    An intense abstruse little poem - you need to know a little more about Christianity than I do to unwind the meaning. But I do like Dickinson's elliptical technique - well it's not a technique really - it is the woman herself, the way she makes lightning darts at mysteries to illuminate them. (Report) Reply

  • Paolo Giuseppe Mazzarello (3/27/2010 5:10:00 AM)

    Ms Dickinson seems to write: 'I have not chosen him' thinking about her own father more than the Eternal Father. However the trouble is actual, poet needs both of them. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (3/27/2010 2:36:00 AM)

    God is the ruler and He cannot be ruled! His choice honour or dishonour has to be shared! There is no other go! Perhaps the poet says so I believe! (Report) Reply

  • Adam Sobh (4/10/2009 11:52:00 AM)

    I'm doing a project on Emily Dickinson for my 11th grade American Literature class, and i need to find a poem by Miss Emily Dickinson and then analyze it, i chose this poem, but i don't really understand it, so if anybody could please explain it to me and help me to better understand it, i would be extremely grateful. (Report) Reply

  • Rakeem 'Voice in Poetry' Person (6/3/2008 9:50:00 PM)

    interesting revelation. often times i used to wonder if i really chose God but lately i realize that he chose me and that left me with little to no choice but to choose Him. wonderful...simply brilliant. i must admit though, the part about 'Daisy' kind of goes over my head. (Report) Reply

  • Naveed Akram (3/31/2008 7:45:00 PM)

    Jesus has chosen people called disciples, and this means there is choice from anywhere and anyone, so choice is made by everybody, and that means God has chosen certain things for his people. People have been chosen. People have been punished. They have been annexed by God, but the mercy is shown by taking them by choice. It is brave of this man to make the statement of choice, and he suffers for it. It is positioned in the place called Bethlehem.
    The whole dishonour is shared because it is obvious that choices have been made. (Report) Reply

  • Atsiylah Garfinkel (11/24/2007 7:28:00 PM)

    This poem does not question 'Jesus' at all. Quite to the contrary. Emily Dickinson was well known for her claim to Christianity. The piece is in reference to the Almighty and to 'Jesus'. The condemnation was to mankind, thus the title. I wont go so far as to say C.Charcoal is ignorant, but perhaps a bit unaccustomed to real poetry, and perhaps a bit young. (Report) Reply

  • Kiss Mine (3/27/2007 9:10:00 PM)

    superficial conclusion below. mind your ignorance and try, please try, to read a little, just a wee, deeper. (Report) Reply

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