The adage says prose is meant to be heard and poetry is meant to be overheard. Every poet allows us to eavesdrop on the experience of experiencing. Good poems evoke emotion and give us a door to our feelings through a window on another’s. 

Voices In Verse presents the many portals penned by many different kinds of women in their transformative years. 

What follows is a poem by the acknowledged mother of American poetry, Emily Dickinson, who would receive birthday wishes Dec. 10. The Belle of Amherst has often been reduced to a picture of a shadowy recluse looking out from the second story of her home. In truth, she lead a vibrant and active life and only later accepted confinement as a result of illness and the wages of a sensitive mind. Below she speaks of what lasts in all of us.

Click the "continue reading" link below to view a selected poem by Emily Dickinson.

YOU cannot put a fire out; 
  A thing that can ignite 
Can go, itself, without a fan 
  Upon the slowest night. 
You cannot fold a flood         
  And put it in a drawer,— 
Because the winds would find it out, 
  And tell your cedar floor. 

— Emily Dickinson

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  • Janet December 14, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    I’m nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
    They’d advertise — you know!
    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public like a frog
    To tell one’s name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!