“I Dwell in Possibility” Poem by Emily Dickinson


Authors usually have unique personalities that make them stand out more than people from other professions. They either live controversial lives or die mysteriously and leave people wondering what makes them prefer these lifestyles. Emily Dickenson has a strange history that surpasses the mysteries of Shakespeare and other ancient writers that people knew little about. She was born and raised in a humble and wealthy home and everybody expected her to be social and enjoy the fame brought by money. She attended various schools and attained certificates in literature and arts. However, she spent most of her time indoors and had no friends except mentors and family members. This essay analyzes her poem ‘I Dwell in Possibility’ and evaluates how it depicts her life.

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Emily Dickinson wrote more than a thousand poems even though almost all of them had to be edited to meet the style and grammar of modern literature. Her style was unique since she wrote short lines and had punctuation ‘errors’ that were not common in most of her peers’ works. Her poem ‘I Dwell in Possibility’ is a reflection of her life and portrays issues that she thought were important in society. The themes presented in this poem are similar to those in her other works. This shows that her life revolved around issues of death, suffering, and solitude.

Poem Analysis: I Dwell in Possibility

The poem explains that she had no other place for dwelling apart from finding happiness in the belief of possibilities. This shows that she did not pay attention to worldly things because they did not matter in her life. It is necessary to explain that even though her parents were rich she did not find happiness in their wealth and preferred to live a solitary life. This is strange because she had attended school and met people from diverse backgrounds. Ironically, she became an introvert after going through various institutions of learning. She believed that people should train their minds to search for inner happiness and not satisfaction from material things. This explains why she decided to isolate herself from public activities and had very few friends. It is not normal for a mature lady to be lonely yet she has money to spend with friends and relatives.

The poem explores the theme of natural beauty that makes life complete. She believed that when people are happy they do not need anything because they are usually motivated to work, make friends, or travel in search of happiness. This belief forced her to live what she wrote and believed and that is why she did not bother to make friends or travel to visit her relatives. It is possible that even her parents and siblings did not have much to share with her and she found solace in the silence of her room.

Also, the theme of suffering and death dominated this poem and most of her other works. She suffered significant losses caused by the deaths of her tutor, family members, and close friends and perhaps this is why she decided to center her writing on death and suffering. This poem explains that her dwelling place is the best on earth and this can mean that death is an appropriate destination for everybody. It seems like she suffered a lot during her life and this motivated her to start dreaming about another ‘world’ where the pain is an unknown phenomenon. Therefore, her mind was preoccupied with issues regarding life after death and maybe this is why she did not find happiness in friendship or money.

Reflections of His Work

Moreover, most of her poems were addressed to an unknown master that some people think is death. It is necessary to explain that her belief was neither based on religion or witchcraft but she had a unique way of revering unknown powers she believed controlled the universe. She did find happiness in life and that is why she wrote many poems regarding the issues of death and suffering. She believed that paradise was her destination and neither wealth nor education would have made her find happiness in material things.

Some literary critics argue that she was afraid of dying and that is why her writings explored the possibilities of death like drowning, hanging, suicide, traffic accidents, diseases, and unknown causes. This means that she was a pessimist that did not see anything good in life. Her inner fear motivated her to write about issues that happen in society even though it is not appropriate to discuss them. This explains why she lived a different life from other writers.

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Lastly, Emily was a writer but her life depicted a unique religion that believed in the self-consciousness of the mind and body. She lived in two separate worlds yet wanted to ensure that she was human at all times. It is not easy to accomplish these issues unless one is strongly devoted to a religion she understands well. Therefore, her life was full of mysteries that nobody can explain and that is why her writings are considered to have a life after death meaning.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, January 3). "I Dwell in Possibility" Poem by Emily Dickinson. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/i-dwell-in-possibility-poem-by-emily-dickinson/

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""I Dwell in Possibility" Poem by Emily Dickinson." StudyCorgi, 3 Jan. 2021, studycorgi.com/i-dwell-in-possibility-poem-by-emily-dickinson/.

1. StudyCorgi. ""I Dwell in Possibility" Poem by Emily Dickinson." January 3, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/i-dwell-in-possibility-poem-by-emily-dickinson/.


StudyCorgi. ""I Dwell in Possibility" Poem by Emily Dickinson." January 3, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/i-dwell-in-possibility-poem-by-emily-dickinson/.


StudyCorgi. 2021. ""I Dwell in Possibility" Poem by Emily Dickinson." January 3, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/i-dwell-in-possibility-poem-by-emily-dickinson/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) '"I Dwell in Possibility" Poem by Emily Dickinson'. 3 January.

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