Emily Dickinson

Soul, Wilt thou toss again?
By just such a hazard
Hundreds have lost indeed --
But tens have won an all --

Angel's breathless ballot
Lingers to record thee --
Imps in eager Caucus
Raffle for my Soul!


  1. I love that...Poetry is such a magical thing.


  2. Interesting juxtaposition, Ms. Pierson.

    M.I.A. is in your last posting. Emily Dickinson is in this one.

    M.I.A. is an extroverted, self-proclaimed "bad girl." Ms. Dickinson is an introverted recluse. Bet you think their poems are polar opposites, right? But they're not. Let me explain.

    What is Ms. Dickinson's first stanza about? It's about a soul's gamble. "Soul, Wilt thou toss again?" Hundreds lose. Tens win everything.

    That first stanza is like Ms. M.I.A.'s verses: "Live fast./ Die young./ Bad girls do it well."


    C'mon, Ms. Pierson. Admit it.

    "Okay. Okay, Rider, you're right. The first stanza of Ms. Dickinson's poem is somewhat like Ms. M.I.A.'s verses. But you won't convince me there's any further similarity."

    Give me a few moments, Ms. Pierson, and I'll try.


    Now, please read Ms. Dickinson's second stanza carefully. It's got "breathlessness" and "lingering" in it. It's got an "angel" who watches Ms. Dickinson while "imps" (demons) "raffle" off her soul. What is Ms. Dickinson doing in that room of hers? Why is an angel taking notes? Why are demons raffling off her soul?

    I submit to you that Ms. Dickinson is doing the same thing that Ms. M.I.A. is doing when Ms. M.I.A. writes:

    My chain hits my chest
    When I'm banging on the dashboard
    My chain hits my chest
    When I'm banging on the radio

    The difference? Ms. Dickinson worries about her soul. Ms. M.I.A. never worries.


    Tell me I'm right, Ms. Pierson. Tell me I made Ms. Dickinson's poem a whole lot more interesting.

    Tell me I just made you smile.