Emily Dickinson: We talked as Girls do – (392)

This is one of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson. I love the short stanzas, including the dash as her favorite punctuation mark, but the meaning, as so often, is cryptic. She can admittedly be ironic, morbid, witty, dark, and a bit saucy. I was intrigued by the concept of 19th-century girl talk, and “identified myself” with the “We” of the poem. Oh, this is light Emily, I thought gratefully – but then she mentions “the Grave” in the third line – And then all the dashes disappear in the last stanza, which seems very dark.

I will post a short, very slightly more serious piece on her poetry soon. I must think and compose myself first. Meanwhile, enjoy!

We talked as Girls do – (392)

We talked as Girls do— 
Fond, and late— 
We speculated fair, on every subject, but the Grave— 
Of ours, none affair— 

We handled Destinies, as cool— 
As we—Disposers—be— 
And God, a Quiet Party 
To our Authority— 

But fondest, dwelt upon Ourself 
As we eventual—be— 
When Girls to Women, softly raised 

We parted with a contract 
To cherish, and to write 
But Heaven made both, impossible 
Before another night.

2 thoughts on “Emily Dickinson: We talked as Girls do – (392)”

  1. Wow! The last two lines were like a punch in the throat! I was unfamiliar with this poem, thanks for bringing it to the world!

    1. I know! Emily writes a lot of charming nature poems, but she is a complex woman, and some of these poems really surprise me. Emily, never predictable!

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