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Featured Poem: Tell all the truth but tell it slant— by Emily Dickinson

Written by Harriet Eakin, 14th July 2014

I hope you enjoy this week's Featured Poem - 'Tell all the truth but tell it slant' by Emily Dickinson.

She argues that on certain occasions the truth may be too much and that people are too sensitive to the 'dazzling' and 'bright' 'superb surprise'. I absolutely love the comparison of truth to a blinding light. She says the best way to tell the truth therefore is with a 'slant' - is this in order to let the listener down gently? To prevent a reaction with too much emotion - perhaps sadness or anger?


This poem is a taster of what you can expect to see at our shared reading groups running this weekend at Latitude Festival - see our bio on the Latitude website here. We look forward to seeing some of you there!



Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise


As Lightening to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind-


Emily Dickinson

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