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Publication - is the Auction by Emily Dickinson


"Publication - is the Auction" is a talk about published works. The first stanza states that publication is horrible, while the second stanza begins to refute the statement. The first two lines of the third stanza state that God gave us the thoughts and so we should keep it to ourselves. However, the second two state that God's creation is the one who brought it to be. The fourth stanza states that by spreading our works we are spreading what God gave us, but to not disgrace ourselves or him.

A common misconception is that Dickinson was not published during her lifetime. In actuality, several of her poems were. However, the vast majority were not published until after her death.

This is a four stanza poem with four lines in each. There is a soft rhyme in the first and fourth stanza while there is a perfect rhyme in the second and third.

Johnson number: 709


Publication - is the Auction

Publication - is the Auction
Of the Mind of Man -
Poverty - be justifying
For so foul a thing

Possibly - but We - would rather
From Our Garret go
White - Unto the White Creator -
Than invest - Our Snow -

Thought belong to Him who gave it -
Then - to Him Who bear
Its Corporeal illustration - Sell
The Royal Air -

In the Parcel - Be the Merchant
Of the Heavenly Grace -
But reduce no Human Spirit
To Disgrace of Price -

Next: The Riddle we can guess
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Literary Movement
19th Century

God, Religion, Ironic

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