If I can stop one heart from breaking

If I can stop one heart from breaking

By Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.


About the poem

Emily Dickinson did not write titles for her poems. Instead, they were called by the actual first line of the poem.

She had a talent for conveying a lot in few words.  The message of this poem is clear and simple – if I can make a difference, life is worthwhile. It is precisely that sentiment that inspired the mission of CDMF.


About the author

Dickinson’s own experiences played a key role in providing inspiration for her pieces. Her poems examine themes such as love, joy, pain, grief, nature, and art. She was also influenced by poets of seventeenth-century England, reading the Book of Revelation, and her upbringing in Amherst, which was a puritan town.

Emily Dickinson is recognized as one of the most important American poets and is one of the most well-known. Many of her works are studied in English class curriculums across the country.

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