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Death sets a thing significant by Emily Dickinson


"Death sets a thing significant" is written about how after a death, the things left behind are often cherished by loved ones, no matter how insignificant they seemed when the dead was living. This poem addresses the feelings and some objects which were insignificant ("crayon or in wool").

"Death sets a thing significant" is a four stanza poem with the first, second, and fourth stanzas consisting of four lines while the third stanza consists of eight. The second and fourth lines of each stanza rhyme while the first and third do not. The third stanza has a rhyme scheme of ABCBDEFE.

Johnson number: 360


Death sets a thing significant

Death sets a thing significant
The eye had hurried by,
Except a perished creature
Entreat us tenderly

To ponder little workmanships
In crayon or in wool,
With "This was last her fingers did,"
Industrious until

The thimble weighed too heavy,
The stitches stopped themselves,
And then 't was put among the dust
Upon the closet shelves.
A book I have, a friend gave,
Whose pencil, here and there,
Had notched the place that pleased him,--
At rest his fingers are.

Now, when I read, I read not,
For interrupting tears
Obliterate the etchings
Too costly for repairs.

Next: Did the Harebell Loose Her Girdle
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Literary Movement
19th Century

Death, Love, Life

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