Poemsby Emily Dickinson

The Brain
The Past


The bone that has no marrow;
  What ultimate for that?
It is not fit for table,
  For beggar, or for cat.
A bone has obligations,
  A being has the same;
A marrowless assembly
  Is culpabler than shame.
But how shall finished creatures
  A function fresh obtain? —
Old Nicodemus' phantom
  Confronting us again!