Emily Dickinson

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

One Need Not Be A Chamber To Be Haunted, - Poem by Emily Dickinson

One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.

Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one's own self encounter
In lonesome place.

Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror's least.

The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O'erlooking a superior spectre
More near.

Comments about One Need Not Be A Chamber To Be Haunted, by Emily Dickinson

  • (6/9/2016 6:31:00 PM)

    ........most interesting and true, ★
    One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
    One need not be a house;
    The brain has corridors surpassing
    Material place.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Susan Williams (12/31/2015 2:10:00 PM)

    I really really liked this poem. Would refer people to John Richter for more intelligent discussions about Emily Dickinson and her works. (Report) Reply

  • (10/6/2014 2:45:00 PM)

    Emily's life is a little sad to me. As a young woman she had the opportunity to travel and study at college, something most young girls of her time were not allowed. She developed many great friendships during that time, as well as an unbridled passion for poetry. After returning to her home, where she stayed the rest of her life, she kept her friendships strong by exchanging letters. As the years passed many of her distant loving friends died, leaving her feeling lonelier and lonelier. With most poets I dare not try to fit their poems into their lives, knowing a lot of it could be just artistic banter. But in this case I relent, as I'm certain Emily was treating us to a very special part of her own feelings. A midnight gallop - stone's a'chase represents the fear that might come from a runaway horse and carriage, running as fast and wildly as it can, dangerously through the cobblestone streets of a town. Many of us today can't understand this, but many a pedestrian was killed by runaway horses in congested areas back then. What is more ghastly than a ghost in front of you? One inside of you, chalked with loneliness....... I love Emily Dickinson. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: house

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]