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"The most triumphant Bird I ever knew or met" By Emily Dickinson [Analysis


The most triumphant Bird I ever knew or met [1] Embarked upon a twig today [2] And till Dominion set [3] I famish to behold so eminent a sight [4] And sang for nothing scrutable [5] But intimate Delight. [6] Retired, and resumed his transitive Estate -- [7] To what delicious Accident [8] Does finest Glory fit! [9]
Poem 1265 [F1285] "The most triumphant Bird I ever knew or met" Analysis by David Preest [Poem]

Emily included versions of this poem in letters to her cousins and to Mrs Holland in the late spring of 1873. The version sent to the cousins (L388) had 'competent' instead of 'eminent' in line 4, and 'impudent' instead of 'intimate' in line 6. The cousins' version was preceded by the words, 'so with a few spring touches, nature remains unchanged.' Mrs Holland's version (L391) is introduced with the words, 'Eden, always eligible, is peculiarly so this noon. It would please you to see how intimate the Meadows are with the Sun. Besides -.' Until the 'Dominion' over Emily's senses of this 'most triumphant Bird' came to an end, she was hungry for more of the sight of a bird singing for no other ascertainable reason than sheer 'Delight.' It did not last long as the bird resumed his flights across his world, but the 'finest Glory' of his song was a 'delicious Accident!'