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We dream—it is good we are dreaming—
It would hurt us—were we awake—
But since it is playing—kill us,
And we are playing—shriek—

What harm? Men die—externally—
It is a truth—of Blood—
But we—are dying in Drama—
And Drama—is never dead—

Cautious—We jar each other—
And either—open the eyes—
Lest the Phantasm—prove the Mistake—
And the livid Surprise

Cool us to Shafts of Granite—
With just an Age—and Name—
And perhaps a phrase in Egyptian—
It’s prudenter—to dream—

Short Poem Analysis

"We dream – it is good we are dreaming" is a reflective and contemplative poem by Emily Dickinson that explores the concept of dreaming as a source of solace and escape from the challenges of reality. Through its thoughtful language and introspective tone, the poem delves into the significance of dreams as a way to navigate the complexities of life.

The poem opens with the assertion that dreaming is beneficial, stating that it is "good" that we are dreaming. This sets a tone of approval and suggests that dreams serve a purpose in the human experience.

Dickinson's language is both descriptive and philosophical, conveying the idea that dreams provide respite from the difficulties of existence. The notion that "the waking pang" can be "less" when compared to the soothing world of dreams highlights the dream state's potential to offer comfort and temporary relief.

The poem uses contrasting imagery to illustrate the juxtaposition between the harsh realities of waking life and the dream world. Phrases like "fearful," "rough," and "dismal" describe the waking state, while "celestial" and "favored" describe the dream state, underscoring the idea that dreams offer a realm of positivity and hope.

The repetition of "in the night" throughout the poem emphasizes the time of dreams and highlights the idea that dreams are a distinct and separate realm from waking life.

"We dream – it is good we are dreaming" invites readers to reflect on the dualities of human existence and the role that dreams play in providing a temporary escape from life's challenges. The poem suggests that dreaming offers a space for renewal, imagination, and emotional processing. Through its introspective and evocative language, the poem prompts contemplation on the interplay between reality and dreams and their impact on our emotional well-being.

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