The Wind begun to knead the Grass –


Emily Dickinson sent this poem to Elizabeth Holland, whom she had met nearly ten years before through Josiah Holland, Elizabeth’s husband and an editor at the Springfield Republican—the newspaper that printed five of Dickinson’s poems during her lifetime. 

The Wind begun to knead the Grass –
As Women do a Dough –
He flung a Hand full at the Plain –
A Hand full at the Sky –
The Leaves unhooked
themselves from Trees –
And started all abroad –
The Dust did scoop itself like Hands –
And throw away the Road –
The Wagons quick – ened on the Street –
The Thunders gossiped low –
The Lightning showed a Yellow Head –
And then a livid Toe –
The Birds put up the Bars to Nests –
The Cattle flung to Barns –
Then came one drop of Giant Rain –
And then, as if the Hands
That held the Dams – had parted hold –
The Waters Wrecked the Sky –
But overlooked my Father's House –
Just Quartering a Tree –

The Wind begun to knead the Grass –
Poem sent to Elizabeth Holland, signed and dated ca. 1864
Amherst College Archives & Special Collections