Death Sets A Thing Significant

Death Sets a Thing Significant 
Emily Dickinson 

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.

I came across this rather solemn poem a few weeks back and I felt a tinge of sadness as I went back to re-read the poem. The poem illustrates how something insignificant will become significant when someone is lost. This loss is “too costly for repairs”, further exacerbating the extent of loss and how the persona in the poem had failed to treasure this invaluable gift while the deceased was alive.

I shan’t blabber on and on about the poem. I’m sure it’s a simple poem that will touch your heart (because it certainly touched mine). More importantly, cherish the people and invaluable gifts around you before it’s all too late.


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