He put the Belt around my life –
I heard the buckle snap –
And turned away, imperial,
My Lifetime folding up –
Deliberate, as a Duke would do
A Kingdom’s Title Deed –
Henceforth, a Dedicated sort –
A Member of the Cloud.

Yet not too far to come at call –
And do the little Toils
That make the Circuit of the Rest –
And deal occasional smiles
To lives that stoop to notice mine –
And kindly ask it in –
Whose invitation, know you not
For Whom I must decline?


In this poem, Emily is simply proclaiming her absolute dedication to her life’s work, her poetry. Her dedication is no different than a Priest “I heard the buckle snap”, a Nobleman “Deliberate, as a Duke”, or even a Saint “A Member of the Cloud. Even though, her life and work are as important as these grand figures, she still remains humble enough to “do the little Toils” that make up the rest of her life. In my image, “the little Toils” is represented by the dishwasher. I proclaim a dedication to my art, but that does not mean I don’t load, and unload the dishwasher. As she goes about her everyday activities “that make the Circuit of the Rest”, there are people she comes across, who are so friendly, and want to get to know her better, but don’t understand why she “must decline”. Fortunately for all the Emily Dickinson fans she did decline.


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