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I like to see it lap the Miles

I like to see it lap the Miles

  

by Emily Dickinson

Analysis: What's Up With the Title?

Dickinson wasn't one for giving poems grand (or even explanatory) titles – or, for that matter, any titles at all. Instead, her poems are most commonly referred to by their first lines (in this case, "I like to see it lap the Miles"). In scholarly circles, her poems are referred to by their sequenced numbers in Thomas H. Johnson's famous 1960 edition of her poems (this one is 585). In some cases, this poem is also referred to as "The Railway Train," but that artificially imposed title seems a little too easy to us – talk about spoilers! We usually prefer to stick to the first line method, which offers a cryptic taste of what this riddle-like poem is all about.

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