Literature Study GuidesPoems Of Emily Dickinson SelectedThis Is My Letter To The World Summary

Poems of Emily Dickinson (Selected) | Study Guide

Emily Dickinson

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This is my letter to the World

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Emily Dickinson's poem "This is my letter to the World."

Poems of Emily Dickinson (Selected) | This is my letter to the World | Summary



In this two-stanza poem, which generally adheres to standard ballad meter, the speaker tells those who would be her readers her "letter to the World" is the "News that Nature told." In other words she is conveying the message of nature to readers unknown and asks them, "Sweet—countrymen," to judge her kindly because of her love of nature.


In this poem the speaker clearly identifies herself as a poet who writes to "the World." The speaker, therefore, is unlike Dickinson the poet, who was reluctant to publish her poetry. However, the speaker does resemble the poet, who wrote innumerable letters. The speaker also identifies herself as a poet of nature, which, on the other hand does reflect Dickinson and her many poems in which she accurately describes what she sees in nature, which she considers her heaven on earth.

In a phrase typical of Dickinson's fondness for paradox, the speaker mentions nature's "tender Majesty." The word tender appears a second time in this short poem when the speaker begs her "countrymen" (presumably citizens of "the World") to judge her "tenderly" for the news she brings; in other words to be kind in judging her poetry of nature.

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