Members Who Read Most Number Of Poems

Live Scores

Click here to see the rest of the list

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

What do you think this poem is about?

For Example: love, art, fashion, friendship and etc.

"I want"—it pleaded—All its life

731

"I want"—it pleaded—All its life—
I want—was chief it said
When Skill entreated it—the last—
And when so newly dead—

I could not deem it late—to hear
That single—steadfast sigh—
The lips had placed as with a "Please"
Toward Eternity—

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003


Read poems about / on: life

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Burdock—clawed my Gown by Emily Dickinson )

Enter the verification code :

  • * Sunprincess * (1/12/2014 8:29:00 PM)

    ......seems like even in Emily's time period...everyone wanted everything,
    if they actually needed it or not...and this still holds true today...
    Emily is definitely the poetess, to aspire to...

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Cameron Bodge (12/13/2013 12:53:00 PM)

    Could you NOTTTTTTT? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? ! ? : *

  • Soulistical The Poet (5/26/2012 12:10:00 PM)

    Very interesting builds an image of its own, thank you Emily

  • Adam Sobh (4/10/2009 11:50:00 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.

  • Gary Witt (9/20/2006 7:13:00 PM)

    I'd like to begin by paying attention to the capitalization here. Skill and Eternity are both capitalized, and (IMHO) personified. Eternity in the form of a person? Well, let's just call that God. But Skill personified...that's more difficult to get my arms around. And a personification of Skill begging or entreating someone or something...that's equally difficult. Still, both Eternity and Skill are entities worthy of capitalization. On the other hand, the subject 'it' is not. Moreover, the use of the neuter pronoun in the first place further diminishes the relative importance of the subject entity or being. We're talking about a speck, of very little significance, pleading 'I want' for the entire duration of its (insignificant and likely short) lifespan. A pathetic, pitiable image. The subject 'it' also seems a bit self-centered. Its wants are 'chief it said.' (Somehow, I don't believe Eternity is buying that one.)

    Still 'it' is clearly suffering from its lack. We all suffer, we all lack, we all want. We are all 'it.'

    Perhaps Skill is trying to coax some kind of action from 'it, ' who does not respond, but only reiterates 'I want' to the very last, with a final 'please' directed to God.

    We then have the narrator, who enters in the second stanza commenting that she could not deem it late to hear that final sigh, that final 'please.' Sounds like the final 'please' might have been the only 'please' uttered by 'it.' Still, the narrator does not 'deem it late, ' so there is a certain forgiveness there. Or at least understanding.

    So on the one hand, there is a call to action by Skill, but a recognition on the part of the narrator that perhaps action would be futile, and that this final 'please' is understandable, and even to be forgiven.

    In the end, I think the poem is about everyone's suffering or longing, the insignificance that we all feel in the face of Eternity, the need or imperative to act (Skill begs us to act) to relieve our suffering, a recognition that our own actions will never suffice to eliminate that suffering, and perhaps forgiveness for our shortcomings or failures, which are mostly those of omission or a failure to act.

    Not bad for 46 words in 8 lines.

  • Ruby Root (8/23/2006 8:39:00 PM)

    When I think of word eternity I think of eternal existence, I wonder if that is was he wanted all its life. Excellent poem, unique and original.

Read all 6 comments »

People who read Emily Dickinson also read

Top 500 Poems

[Hata Bildir]