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poem    
 
  emily dickinson

He fumbles at your Soul
As Players at the Keys
Before they drop full Music on--
He stuns you by degrees-
Prepares your brittle Nature
For the Ethereal Blow
By fainter Hammers- further heard--
Then nearer--Then so slow
Your Breath has time to straighten-
Your Brain to bubble Cool--
Deals--One--imperial--Thunderbolt--
That scalps your naked Soul--

When Winds take Forests in their Paws-
The Universe--is still--

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My life closed twice before its close--
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me

So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.



 
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Excerpted from The Selected Poetry of Emily Dickinson: New York Public Library Collectors Edition by Emily Dickinson. Reprinted by permission of Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1973 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.