Study Guide

I measure every Grief I meet Time

By Emily Dickinson


Here's a question: how long is it supposed to take for you to get over something sad? Is a week enough? A month? A year? Can you ever get over it? And does it depend on the particular grief? These questions seem to preoccupy the speaker of "I measure every Grief I meet," in a big way. She's had long lasting grief in her life, and she wants to know if others have, too.

Questions About Time

  1. How does the poem move through time? That is, does the poem end in a different time than where it began? How can you tell?
  2. Can grief ever be brief? Or does it all last as long as the speaker's seems to?
  3. What does the speaker spend most of her time doing in the poem? Does that seem like a good way to get over grief?

Chew on This

The poem argues against the idea that time heals all wounds, suggesting that some kinds of sadness never go away.

One of the ways the speaker "measures" grief is by how long it seems to last.