Emily Dickinson

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

An altered look about the hills


An altered look about the hills—
A Tyrian light the village fills—
A wider sunrise in the morn—
A deeper twilight on the lawn—
A print of a vermillion foot—
A purple finger on the slope—
A flippant fly upon the pane—
A spider at his trade again—
An added strut in Chanticleer—
A flower expected everywhere—
An axe shrill singing in the woods—
Fern odors on untravelled roads—
All this and more I cannot tell—
A furtive look you know as well—
And Nicodemus' Mystery
Receives its annual reply!

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003


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  • Rookie Martine Bland (9/24/2011 8:01:00 PM)

    My daughter loved the movie 'Rockadoodle' when she was young. I cannot believe that the main character in this movie is also mentioned in this poem. What's more, the character, Chanticleer was originally written about in a work of Chaucer in the early 1400's.
    I believe that in this poem, Emily is saying that we must beware of that certain prideful part of our personality, no matter how beautiful or eye catching it may be; that we must guard it with subtle inocence and not with vanity, lest it be stripped from us in an instant. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Martine Bland (9/24/2011 7:53:00 PM)

    My daughter loved the movie 'Rockadoodle'. I cannot wait to tell her that her favorite character from that movie is found in a Dickerson poem and what's more the character was originally depicted in a tale written by Chaucer in the 1400's.
    I think that in this poem Emily is saying that we must beware that the one prideful thing that we exhibit in our personality, no matter how beautiful or eyecatching it might be; might be the one thing that would cause our own self destruction; that we must guard it with care and not with vanity lest it be stripped from us in an instant. (Report) Reply

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