Emily Dickinson Quotes on Writing: The Complete Collection

emily dickinson quotes on writing
by CJ McDaniel // June 15 // 0 Comments

Many famous writers get recognized at some point in their careers. As for Emily Dickinson, one of American poetry’s most significant figures, recognition came posthumously. She was unrecognized in her lifetime, with most of her writing taking the form of letters. Her sister Lavinia discovered her remarkable works, and soon enough, people of all ages and interests read her poetry. Moreover, her legacy, including Emily Dickinson’s quotes on writing, continuously impacts many lives today.

American poet Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830. Dickinson was an excellent student educated at Amherst Academy, which strength lies in its emphasis on science. This emphasis contributed to Dickinson’s development as a poet, visible in the themes she used in her poems and letters. Apart from school, she also spent most of her life in her family home in Amherst. Lavinia, her sister, and Austin, her brother, became her intellectual companions during her lifetime. Moreover, Lavinia was the one who uncovered the cache of poems Dickinson crafted over the years.

The publication of the first volume of Dickinson’s poems happened posthumously in 1890, with its complete selection in 1955. Her poignant and compressed verse, and innovative use of form and syntax, established her as one of the towering figures in the history of American literature. In addition, her literary voice profoundly influenced the direction of 20th-century poetry, and generations of writers consider her one of America’s greatest and most original poets of all time. Hence, it’s unsurprising how prolific writer Emily Dickinson moved people through her quotes on writing.

Emily Dickinson Quotes About Writing

Dickinson began writing in her late teens, regularly enclosing poems in letters to her friends. Regarding the subjects of her poetry, she often included themes about love, death, and nature. On the other hand, her early influences include the principal of Amherst Academy, Leonard Humphrey, and a family friend who once sent her a book of poetry, Benjamin Franklin Newton.

Emily Dickinson may not have received formal education to become a professional writer. However, her brilliance in writing is something you cannot overlook. Hence, feel free to enjoy the selection of quotes about writing below by Emily Dickinson, isolated lines taken from her works.

A wounded deer leaps the highest.

– Emily Dickinson

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.

– Emily Dickinson

I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.

– Emily Dickinson

A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.

– Emily Dickinson

Write me of hope and love, and hearts that endured.

– Emily Dickinson

I dwell in possibility.

– Emily Dickinson

Saying nothing… sometimes says the most.

– Emily Dickinson

PHOSPHORESCENCE. Now there’s a word to lift your hat to… to find that phosphorescence, that light within, that’s the genius behind poetry.

– Emily Dickinson

But a Book is only the Heart’s Portrait—every Page a Pulse.

– Emily Dickinson

The possible’s slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.

– Emily Dickinson

The Truth must dazzle gradually or every man be blind.

– Emily Dickinson

The poet lights the light and fades away. But the light goes on and on.

– Emily Dickinson

“I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They ’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

– Emily Dickinson

Dickinson Quotes About Books

Emily Dickinson lived in a book-loving household. Growing up, she became a voracious reader, enjoying books on her home’s shelves and her brother Austin’s next door. She also enjoyed reading the Bible and catching up with current events through the daily reading of The Springfield Republican, a political and literary newspaper during her time.

Books also played a part in Emily Dickinson’s writing, so you’ll love this collection of quotes about books from her.

There is no frigate like a book

– Emily Dickinson

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?

– Emily Dickinson

To travel far, there is no better ship than a book.

– Emily Dickinson

The dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul–BOOKS.

– Emily Dickinson

A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is To meet an antique book In just the dress his century wore; A privilege, I think, His venerable hand to take, And warming in our own, A passage back, or two, to make To times when he was young. His quaint opinions to inspect, His knowledge to unfold On what concerns our mutual mind, The literature of old.

– Emily Dickinson

But a Book is only the Heart’s Portrait- every Page a Pulse.

– Emily Dickinson

Existence has overpowered Books. Today I slew a Mushroom.

– Emily Dickinson

By Chivalries as tiny, A Blossom, or a Book, The seeds of smiles are planted- Which Blossom in the dark.

– Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson Inspirational Quotes

What makes Emily Dickinson inspiring for many readers and writers? Many viewed her poems as odd for the era in which she wrote. However, what made her stand out was her bravery to stand up for what she believed and make a difference. Dickinson introduced the world to a new type of writing and poetry while using significant themes in life, such as love and individuality. It’s as if she’s telling people that it’s okay to be different, to slow down and see the world in a new light, as there’s always beauty in everything, every day.

Mid-nineteenth-century poet Emily Dickinson continues to inspire modern men and women to this day, such that the following collection of inspirational quotes from her will bring you delight.

Truth is so rare that it is delightful to tell it.

– Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.

– Emily Dickinson

The brain is wider than the sky.

– Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.

– Emily Dickinson

We turn not older with years but newer every day.

– Emily Dickinson

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.

– Emily Dickinson

I felt it shelter to speak to you.

– Emily Dickinson

Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.

– Emily Dickinson

I dwell in possibility.

– Emily Dickinson

Nature is a haunted house–but Art–is a house that tries to be haunted.

– Emily Dickinson

Finite to fail, but infinite to venture.

– Emily Dickinson

That it will never come again is what makes life sweet.

– Emily Dickinson

We never know how high we are till we are called to rise. Then if we are true to form our statures touch the skies.

– Emily Dickinson

Success is counted sweetest / By those who ne’er succeed.

– Emily Dickinson

Life is a spell so exquisite that everything conspires to break it.

– Emily Dickinson

One need not be a chamber to be haunted.

– Emily Dickinson

You can stay young as long as you learn.

– Emily Dickinson

Banish Air from Air
Divide Light if you dare

– Emily Dickinson

Dickinson Quotes About Poetry

Emily Dickinson displayed her artistry in writing through her nearly 1,800 poems. Her poems were unique for her time, and publishers had to format her writing to fit conventional poetic rules. Whether they had to edit it or not, Dickinson’s work possessed something that changed American poetry. Her writing was distinct in every sense, from its universal themes to her varied use of punctuation. They contain short lines, utilize a variety of metrical and stanzaic forms, and employ experimental rhythmic meter. Her poetry may look odd, but that made her one of the most exceptional voices in American poetry.

True enough, every poetry lover and reader will love these Emily Dickinson’s quotes about poetry taken from her writing.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.

– Emily Dickinson

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.

– Emily Dickinson

If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.

– Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a book to take us lands away nor any coursers like a page of prancing Poetry.

– Emily Dickinson

To see the Summer Sky Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie— True Poems flee—

– Emily Dickinson

Although distinction only came posthumously, Emily Dickinson’s nearly 1,800 poems established her as one of the most influential icons of American literature. Her works depicted the beauty of human life while challenging the existing definitions of poetry during her time. She was highly prolific as a poet, which justifies the fact that many people, aspiring or professional poets, look up to her and her quotes on writing today.

Need more inspiration on writing other than Emily Dickinson’s quotes? Check out our collection of quotes on writing from other authors here.

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!