The Definition of Victory

The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA

I thought that today I would like to present one of Emily Dickinson’s simpler poems. Emily (1830-1886) is one who was well acquainted with defeat, yet who was victorious in the greatness of her literary output.

Success Is Counted Sweetest

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of victory

As he defeated – dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!