To him or her of adequate desire

Everyone knows the first line; here’s the whole poem. This is #466 in R.W. Franklin (The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition, Harvard/Belknap Press, 1999).

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

1862 was a banner year for St. Emily. She wrote the magnificent “After great pain, a formal feeling comes,” and immediately afterwards a poem whose last couple of lines deserve equal renown (#373):

Narcotics cannot still the Tooth
That nibbles at the soul –

#413 is probably too abstract and explicit to rise to the level of these others, but is valuable precisely because it lays bare one of her central themes:

Heaven is so far of the mind
That were the Mind dissolved –
The Site – of it – by Architect
Could not again be proved –

‘Tis Vast – as our Capacity –
As fair – as our idea –
To Him of adequate desire
No further ’tis, than Here –

Cross-reference: Poem # 910

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