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We play at Paste by Emily Dickinson


"We play at Paste" is a poem written by Emily Dickinson. In this, Dickinson speaks of how we play with paste until we are qualified to play with pearl and "deem ourself a fool". The second stanza states that the shapes were similar, but the new hands are going for gems while practicing "sands".

This poem can be seen to mean that when we are children, we simply play. Then when we are adults, we turn into fools while working for the "pearl" (money). And we learned how to do it while "Parcticing Sands" (playing).

Johnson number: 320


We play at Paste

We play at Paste
Till qualified, for pearl
Then, drop the paste
And deem ourself a fool

The shapes- though- were similar,
And our new hands
Learned Gem-tactics
Practicing Sands.

Next: What if I say I shall not wait!
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Literary Movement
19th Century


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