American Renaissance, Hope

Emily Dickinson Poem: "I Dwell In Possibility"

Photo of Emily Dickinson

Sarah Wider of Colgate University cited this poem (number 466) by Emily Dickinson (1883 - 1886) at the 2010 Ikeda Forum, “This Noble Experiment: Developing the Democratic Spirit.” Its opening line is one of the most famous in American literature.

I dwell in Possibility—
A fairer House than Prose—
More numerous of Windows—
Superior—or Doors—

Of Chambers as the Cedars—
Impregnable of Eye—
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky—

Of Visitors—the fairest—
For Occupation—This—
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise—