Emily Dickinson

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

One Year Ago—jots What?

Poem by Emily Dickinson


One Year ago—jots what?
God—spell the word! I—can't—
Was't Grace? Not that—
Was't Glory? That—will do—
Spell slower—Glory—

Such Anniversary shall be—
Sometimes—not often—in Eternity—
When farther Parted, than the Common Woe—
Look—feed upon each other's faces—so—
In doubtful meal, if it be possible
Their Banquet's true—

I tasted—careless—then—
I did not know the Wine
Came once a World—Did you?
Oh, had you told me so—
This Thirst would blister—easier—now—
You said it hurt you—most—
Mine—was an Acorn's Breast—
And could not know how fondness grew
In Shaggier Vest—
Perhaps—I couldn't—
But, had you looked in—
A Giant—eye to eye with you, had been—
No Acorn—then—

So—Twelve months ago—
We breathed—
Then dropped the Air—
Which bore it best?
Was this—the patientest—
Because it was a Child, you know—
And could not value—Air?

If to be "Elder"—mean most pain—
I'm old enough, today, I'm certain—then—
As old as thee—how soon?
One—Birthday more—or Ten?
Let me—choose!
Ah, Sir, None!

Comments about One Year Ago—jots What? by Emily Dickinson

  • Andesikuteb Peter YamusaAndesikuteb Peter Yamusa (12/31/2015 2:49:00 PM)

    Wow..great poem..happy new year(Report)Reply

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  • Manonton Dalan (12/31/2015 2:12:00 PM)

    nice poem for the season //////(Report)Reply

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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (12/31/2015 1:53:00 PM)

    The first stanza took me straight into a maelstrom. What in the world is happening here? - was my first thought. The punctuation was weird. But it forced me to slow down. Then I find that the thoughts she expresses are really erratic ones. She's stumbling for words: jots what? , ” “I—can’t, ” “Not that, ” “will do.” This stop and go mimics the author's frame of mind. Then she uses the last line of the stanza to make me focus on “Spell slower—Glory.” Huh? Well, the first word of that line, “Spell, ” has two meanings: one being “enchantment” and the other being “speak it out” or “recite it slowly.” Okay. Dickinson is going to make me work at getting into this poem.(Report)Reply

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  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (12/31/2015 9:54:00 AM)

    New life, dreams, love and world
    Ever open to you my dear friends!
    World will be everyone's home and

    Years of saddest pursuits will be fulfilled!
    Energy level of all will increase soon and
    All will come together to do best for all!
    Right attitude will keep all right ever!
    Success will be sure to all from now on...!(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (12/31/2015 9:21:00 AM)

    Very emotional and beautiful narration of the precious life that expresses by the great poet and a good poem.(Report)Reply

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  • Kim BarneyKim Barney (12/31/2015 8:00:00 AM)

    John Richter said it all. I could have said everything he said, though I have outlived my mother by many more years than four. I, too, love Emily Dickinson. And thanks, John, for explaining why she wrote this poem.(Report)Reply

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  • Ratnakar Mandlik (12/31/2015 5:47:00 AM)

    A touching marvelous poem, penned by a master spirit. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • John Richter (5/13/2015 7:41:00 AM)

    Emily was such an intensely beautiful loving soul. I can not read this poem about the anniversary of her father's passing without crying... I suppose as she neared the age that he was at death - that she was inspired to write this poem about her love for him that never dwindled and her grief that didn't either... The completely surreal thing is that I did the exact same thing with my mother's passing, who I have now outlived her age by four years. And I suppose I will do the same with my father's death anniversary - though I've still many years to go to reach his age.... Where ever you are Emily, I love you...(Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: anniversary, sometimes, today, child, pain, god, world, children

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004