Review of “I Shall Know Why, When Time Is Over” (1860/1861)

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Emily Dickinson (writer).

Read in 2022.

According to her biographers, Dickinson had an unusual strength of character and seems to have resisted the popular Christianity of her time, to some extent. However, because she had little knowledge of other systems of thought and had to depend on Christians, there is effectively no difference between Dickinson and an intelligent, confirmedly Christian writer. This poem is typical of such a writer: One who dares to voice a critical and correct thought (“the drop of anguish”), but only when it is safely framed by irrational faith, like “Ecclesiastes” (ca. 400–180 BCE).

References here: “Dying! Dying in the Night” (1860/1861).

poetry text