(poetry diary 143) I often become angry when I talk with teenagers and twenty-somethings and find out that they weren’t given poetry in their junior high or high school classes. A poem like Emily Dickinson’s “The Soul selects her own Society”  can be especially helpful to read at a young age, as it tackles the questions “Why do some people stay friends and others not?” “Why do we like some people and are just not be into others, even if those people are perfectly nice?” I think of this poem every time a question like this comes up in my own life.  I wish more people, especially young people who have a lot more social interactions than most of us boring adults do, knew it. Even if it doesn’t give definitive answers, reading and thinking of it can be a help.

The Soul selects her own Society (303)

Emily Dickinson


The Soul selects her own Society –

Then – shuts the Door –

To her divine Majority –

Present no more –


Unmoved – she notes the Chariots – pausing –

At her low Gate –

Unmoved – an Emperor be kneeling

Upon her Mat –


I’ve known her – from an ample nation –

Choose One –

Then – close the Valves of her attention –

Like Stone –