Celebrating National Poetry Month.
Celebrating National Poetry Month.
A weekly poem, read by the author.
April 27 2004 9:26 AM

"#883" by Emily Dickinson

Slate has observed Poetry Month for the last three weeks by publishing poems that are not part of the usual repertoire of poetry celebrating poetry. Here is the final (and most celebratory) installment, Emily Dickinson's proposition that the poet is mortal, while the poem is not, if it is vital. She also seems to say that each age widens or disseminates the light of a poem in a different way.

Listen to Robert Pinsky reading Emily Dickinson's #883


The Poets light but Lamps—
Themselves—go out—
The Wicks they stimulate—
If vital Light

Inhere as do the Suns—
Each age a Lens
Disseminating their

Robert Pinsky's most recent books are his Selected Poems and Singing School, an anthology and manifesto.

  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Dec. 1 2015 10:36 AM What You Should Read From November We ranked the month’s most popular Slate articles. Then we asked our editors to recommend the best story you didn’t read.