Dickinson's beloved garden, recreated at the New York Botanical Garden in 2010

When we visited Emily Dickinson last year for a Poetry Friday, it was for Women’s Equality Day, and we featured her more defiant, sly poems. But as Spring lets loose its fullest powers, we thought we’d look at some of the dozens of Spring poems Dickinson also wrote, inspired by her celebrated garden.

Wherever you are, we hope  you sing some of the verses below and let Dickinson “sweep the tenement away.”

THE INUNDATION of the Spring
Submerges every soul,
It sweeps the tenement away
But leaves the water whole.

In which the Soul, at first alarmed,       
Seeks furtive for its shore,
But acclimated, gropes no more
For that Peninsular.


A LITTLE madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown,
Who ponders this tremendous scene—
This whole experiment of green,
As if it were his own!


Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

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