(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886 / Amherst / Massachusetts)

There Is No Frigate Like A Book

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

User Rating: 4,2 / 5 ( 6 votes ) 6

Comments (6)

why? I think it's pretty great!
it was the worst poem i have ever heard
.............beautiful poem...there is certainly no joy like traveling into the lands of imagination ★
Wow! It's a joy to experience the elegance of sound and of sense in this poem by the master poet, E. Dickinson! Nice touch of genius! Thank you! : -)
The commenter misunderstands the meaning of the word courser, which my dictionary defines as a swift or spirited horse. He seems to think it refers to academic courses, such as the one he might have been taking at the time he submitted his analysis of the poem. As I read it, Ms. Dickinson claims that even riding such an animal cannot provide the same thrill as a page of prancing poetry does. As for the chariot, no reference to “Phaeton’s chariot” is needed to understand its placement in the poem. Her reference is to the human body, which in her world-view functions as a vehicle for the human soul. Why does she use the word frugal to describe this vehicle? One would suppose that fragile might be a better adjective — and, indeed, frugal seems to suggest that word, fragile — or is it that we tend to fill in the word we think would be most appropriate, regardless of the author's intentions? I would welcome comments on the denotative and connotative meanings of the word frugal, and why Ms. Dickinson chose to use it here.
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