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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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  • Gold Star - 10,993 Points Deepak Kumar Pattanayak (9/13/2014 5:17:00 AM)

    Yes books are our friends, philosophers, guide and they carry us miles away at no cost........phenomenal piece...
    there is a printing mistake here in the sentence without oppress of toll........instead it should be
    without oppress of toil........great poem by great writer (Report) Reply

  • Rookie 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

  • Rookie - 356 Points 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

  • Rookie 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

  • Rookie 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

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