Valley of Life | Online Memorial Blog

Emily Dickinson | Unable are the Loved to die


When I read this poem by Emily Dickinson today, I thought it a profound perspective on love and its enduring qualities. In the two short stanzas below, Dickinson contends that those who love and are loved will never die. While physical immortality is obviously not her assertion, I believe the kinds of immortality she implies to be nearly limitless. For instance, a loved one’s memory lives on, someone’s story is told, a name endures, single actions ripple through the ages — even one’s own blood survives through the bearing of offspring. What a powerful force Love is! And those who endeavor lives filled with it can rest assured some part of who they are will live on forever.

Unable are the Loved to die

Unable are the Loved to die
For Love is Immortality,
Nay, it is Deity—

Unable they that love—to die
For Love reforms Vitality
Into Divinity.

–Emily Dickinson

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