Dear Emily Dickinson, Please Forgive Me

As part of its National Poetry Month and Poem In Your Pocket Day “Envelope Project” celebrations, New York City is running an Emily Dickinson related poetry contest. Basically, it involves writing your own poems using Dickinson first lines.

Although I didn’t enter the contest (I wasn’t thrilled with its reprint permission form) I chose four Emily Dickinson first lines and wrote four short, whimsical, New York City-inspired poems. Here they are, with Dickinson’s words noted in italics:

I shall keep singing though I’m bad,
and those who hear me shout, “Egad!”
You’ll never see me on Broadway,
unless you mean my street display.


The Cricket sang.
My sleep is done.
I’d sooner hear an engine run.


I started Early–Took my Dog
unleashed — don’t fret —
Just franks and grog.


A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!
I wish sometimes they’d go away.
I much prefer the dark of night
So daylight please, go fly a kite.


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14 Responses to “Dear Emily Dickinson, Please Forgive Me”

  1. Stan Ski says:

    Emily would be proud of you…
    And I have a new ambition – to be a NY dog… they’re much better fed than I am!

  2. Lovely fun. Well thought out and good rhyming. My favourite is the cricket.

  3. Olivia says:

    Very well written Maddy!

    Here’s the think, I too have been feeling the same off-late.. lolss
    Only you have expressed it in a real flowing way!

    I read all that you have written here. What a shame- they are losing out on a brilliant poet that you are Many Hugs!

    Snooze Tense

    Check them at your leisure- just a reference- no compulsion.. :D

  4. madkane says:

    Thanks so much Stan, Vivienne, and Olivia!

  5. Tilly Bud says:

    These are great fun! I’m sure Miss D would approve.

  6. Poetjanstie says:

    A narrow fellow in the grass
    I saw him there in scaly gleam
    and slither as he tried to pass
    but no escape, for in my dream
    a patch of green upon my ass!

    Hmm! Not sure if there is any propriety in using the last word, hence the asterisks ;-). Perhaps I should have made a rhyme with the name for it you Americans use; has Emily Dickinson any first lines that end in words rhyming with danny, I wonder, or would that be even less acceptable? :-)

    I think your words: “Dear Emily Dickinson, Please Forgive Me” are most appropriate here.

    (Note from Mad Kane: “Ass” is fine, and I’ve changed it per our email exchange.)

  7. Mike Patrick says:

    I too liked the cricket poem, but it didn’t go far enough. The heck with the crickets, try sleeping with these stupid frogs.

  8. andy sewina says:

    Yeah, I like the way you completed these.

  9. madkane says:

    Thanks to all of you for your kind words and thanks Poetjanstie for your fun verse.

  10. Poetjanstie says:

    It’s a pleasure to do business with you, Mad.

  11. Amanda says:

    all very cute loved the “cricket” the most!

  12. madkane says:

    Thanks Amanda and Poetjanstie!

  13. Elisson says:

    Hope is the thing with feathers
    Despair is the thing with fur
    So there’s times when you feel like an ostrich
    And there’s times when you feel like a cur.


  14. madkane says:

    I liked that Elisson. :)