by Emily Dickinson

A Man may make a Remark—
In itself—a quiet thing
That may furnish the Fuse unto a Spark
In dormant nature—lain—

Let us deport—with skill—
Let us discourse—with care—
Powder exists in Charcoal—
Before it exists in Fire.

IMAGE: “The Face of Mae West Which May Be Used as a Surrealist Apartment” by Salvador Dali (1935).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, and lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. . While Dickinson was a prolific private poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime. It was not until after her death when Lavinia, Dickinson’s younger sister, discovered her cache of poems and the breadth of Dickinson’s work became apparent. A complete collection of her poetry became available for the first time in 1955 when The Poems of Emily Dickinson was published by scholar Thomas H. Johnson. She is now considered one of the most important American poets.