A critical reading of a short Dickinson poem
‘That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.’ This statement has become almost proverbial, and the sentiment is centuries old, but it was Emily Dickinson (1830-86) who gave the thought this particular wording. ‘That it will never come again’ is poem 1741 in Emily Dickinson’s Complete Poems; we include the poem below, along with a few words of analysis.
That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.
Believing what we don’t believe
Does not exhilarate.
That if it be, it be at best
An ablative estate —
This instigates an appetite
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