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Dickinson, Emily - Cocoon above! Cocoon below, Stealthy cocoon, why hide you so



Type of Spiritual Experience


Two related poems

A description of the experience

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson – Emily Dickinson

 Cocoon above!  Cocoon below!
Stealthy cocoon, why hide you so
That all the world suspect?
An hour, and gay on every tree
Your secret, perched in ecstasy
Defies imprisonment

An hour in chrysalis to pass,
Then gay above receding grass
A butterfly to go
A moment to interrogate
Then wiser than a surrogate
The universe to know


 He parts himself like leaves
And then he closes up
Then stands upon the bonnet
Of any buttercup

And then he runs against
And oversets a rose
And then does nothing
Then away upon a jib – he goes

And dangles like a Mote
Suspended in the noon
Uncertain to return below
Or settle in the moon

What come of him at night
The privilege to say
Be limited by ignorance
What come of him that day

The frost possess the world
In cabinets be shown
A sepulchre of quaintest floss
An abbey – a cocoon

The source of the experience

Dickinson, Emily

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps