How many times these low feet staggered -
Only the soldered mouth can tell -
Try - can you stir the awful rivet -
Try - can you lift the hasps of steel!

Stroke the cool forehead - hot so often -
Lift - if you care - the listless hair -
Handle the adamantine fingers
Never a thimble - more - shall wear -

Buzz the dull flies - on the chamber window -
Brave - shines the sun through the freckled pane -
Fearless - the cobweb swings from the ceiling -
Indolent Housewife - in Daisies - lain!

  • Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition, Ralph W. Franklin, ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

  • Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition (Harvard University Press, 1998)

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"POL has opened my mind to many kinds of poetry. Before competing, my experience with poetry was limited to Dr. Seuss. I now find myself making literary references, having analytical conversations with my peers and mentors about poetry, and recalling poems throughout my day."
Mikayla Bates
2016 UT POL Champion