Treasure Island

Emily Dickinson

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

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A Book


There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Comments about this poem (A Book by Emily Dickinson )

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  • N. K. (7/25/2014 10:41:00 AM)

    I love books. I read everyday. Everyone's writing has it's heart scratched across it's pages. Each writing has a human soul in it. (Report) Reply

  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (10/15/2013 10:56:00 AM)

    On those frigates have I traveled wide
    Round this globe with its fairy charms
    Hours and hours I did enjoy and bide
    With books of every kind in my arms.... (Report) Reply

  • Manohar Bhatia (9/13/2013 8:06:00 AM)

    Hi,
    Comparing chariot with a book is impossible, but Emily has done it beautifully in her very sweet and short poem, that speaks volumes about a human soul, who is always restless, trying to find a centre in a circuference of life.
    Manohar Bhatia. (Report) Reply

  • Barucn Atta (7/29/2013 3:53:00 PM)

    Navid: when the poet uses the word like - it is not a metaphor, it is a simile. Like a book, is a simile.
    The indefinite article a is correct here. If she said the human soul it would imply that a book any book, carries the entire human soul, everyone, everywhere. And that is not the meaning. A human soul implies that a book carries the reader, as she reads. One book, one person. One person per book.
    Frugal is also appropriate. A book is much cheaper than a car or boat, by far, today, and even in the days of Miss Dickinson. (Report) Reply

  • Adam Sobh (4/10/2009 11:53:00 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

  • Ismael Rivera (7/16/2008 6:08:00 PM)

    How a frigate? a frigate takes you to a place far away, so a book is to the mind as a frigate is to the body, understood? it talks about how inexpensive it is to go places if you have an imagination, basically, the imagination can go wherever, and books and poetry are the examples. (Report) Reply

  • Naveed Akram (1/21/2008 5:26:00 PM)

    These are words of compelling talk - that of a book. To compare metaphorically a book to a frigate is most joking. How a frigate? Because simply it is huge and bulky, with windows for the thoughts, and a travel so profound as to disturb. The word ‘frugal’ used later is effectively comparing itself with ‘frigate’ earlier on. What disturbs me is the mention of the human soul and its indefinite article, rathe than ‘the’ being a replacement. The human soul is like a land far away, if you know what I mean. It carries a blending of happiness, due to the lack of oppression. (Report) Reply

  • Blabla Blablabla (8/2/2006 12:06:00 AM)

    frigate = high speed ship

    frugal = cheap; inexpensive

    these are words i had to look up. now you don't have to (Report) Reply

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