Richard Howard

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Richard Howard read for the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series on December 10, 2007 for the Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute.

Richard Howard. Mary Jo Baug.

Richard Howard, Pulitzer prize-winning poet, scholar, teacher, critic, and translator, focuses his insight and appreciation on Emily Dickinson's work from the year — 1862 considered her "flood" year during which she unleashed a torrent of poetry. Howard, who teaches at Columbia University, is the poetry editor of The Paris Review, and recently taught a master class on Dickinson for the Poetry Society of America.

Visit his Poetry Foundation page for more information.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes

Emily Dickinson, 1862

After great pain, a formal feeling comes —

The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs —

The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,

And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round —

Of Ground, or Air, or Ought —

A Wooden way

Regardless grown,

A Quartz contentment, like a stone —

This is the Hour of Lead —

Remembered, if outlived,

As Freezing persons recollect the Snow —

First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go —

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition, Ralph W. Franklin, editor, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright © 1999, 1998, 1983, 1955, 1951 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.