|Daguerreotype of the poet Emily Dickinson, taken circa 1848.|
I measure every grief I meet
With analytic eyes;
I wonder if it weighs like mine,
Or has an easier size.
I wonder if they bore it long,
Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the date of mine,
It feels so old a pain.
I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if they have to try,
And whether, could they choose between,
They would not rather die.
I wonder if when years have piled--
Some thousands--on the cause
Of early hurt, if such a lapse
Could give them any pause;
Or would they go on aching still
Through centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger pain
By contrast with the love.
Part of Emily Dickinson's poem.
In this poem Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) is exploring and measuring the nature of human suffering. She is presenting it to the world, and giving others comfort in being part of a community of affliction.
The poem reveals the strength that those people must possess in order to overcome the demanding nature of suffering whether it is grief, pain, depression, heartache, difficulty or disease.