Study Guide

There is no Frigate like a Book Calling Card

By Emily Dickinson

Calling Card

Whimsical Transformations of the Everyday

Since she didn't get out much, Emily Dickinson spent a lot of time seeing magic in ordinary things. Many of her poems creatively transform the most normal-seeming, everyday happenings (like the buzzing of a fly, or the passing of a train) into meaningful symbols for bigger ideas. This poem does exactly that. It takes an everyday occurrence – reading a book – and shows us how that simple action that we take for granted is actually a mystical and amazing thing.