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I am alive - I guess by Emily Dickinson


"I am alive - I guess" is a poem by Emily Dickinson. This writing begins by declaring she is alive, so say the doctors and by the use of her fingers. The poem ends by her stating it is good to be alive as she starts to discover her self.

This seven stanza poem contains four lines in each divided area. The second and fourth lines contain an imperfect rhyme scheme whlie the first and third lines make no attempt at rhyming. The first, second, and fourth lines all contain six syllables while the third line contains at least seven. The author begins several lines with "I am alive" to put further structure on the writing. It's as if she is discussing why she is living, as if she isn't quite sure, but later she starts to figure out why and says "because" instead of "I guess".

Johnson number: 470


I am alive - I guess

I am alive -- I guess --
The Branches on my Hand
Are full of Morning Glory --
And at my finger's end --

The Carmine -- tingles warm --
And if I hold a Glass
Across my Mouth -- it blurs it --
Physician's -- proof of Breath --

I am alive -- because
I am not in a Room --
The Parlor -- Commonly -- it is --
So Visitors may come --

And lean -- and view it sidewise --
And add "How cold -- it grew" --
And "Was it conscious -- when it stepped
In Immortality?"

I am alive -- because
I do not own a House --
Entitled to myself -- precise --
And fitting no one else --

And marked my Girlhood's name --
So Visitors may know
Which Door is mine -- and not mistake --
And try another Key --

How good -- to be alive!
How infinite -- to be
Alive -- two-fold -- The Birth I had --
And this -- besides, in -- Thee!

Next: I cannot live with You
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Literary Movement
19th Century


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