The Moon of Emily and Virginia

Two great female writers, Emily Dickinson and Virginia Woolf, let the Moon spark beautiful thoughts. It is interesting how they both describe the Moon in a very similar way. As something absolute compared to a human life on Earth.


Emily Dickinson Moon, Moon in poems
Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886

I watched the Moon around the House


I watched the Moon around the House

Until upon a Pane—

She stopped—a Traveller’s privilege—for Rest—

And there upon


I gazed—as at a stranger—

The Lady in the Town

Doth think no incivility

To lift her Glass—upon—


But never Stranger justified

The Curiosity

Like Mine—for not a Foot—nor Hand—

Nor Formula—had she—


But like a Head—a Guillotine

Slid carelessly away—

Did independent, Amber—

Sustain her in the sky—


Or like a Stemless Flower—

Upheld in rolling Air

By finer Gravitations—

Than bind Philosopher—


No Hunger—had she—nor an Inn—

Her Toilette—to suffice—

Nor Avocation—nor Concern

For little Mysteries


As harass us—like Life—and Death—

And Afterwards—or Nay—

But seemed engrossed to Absolute—

With shining—and the Sky—


The privilege to scrutinize

Was scarce upon my Eyes

When, with a Silver practise—

She vaulted out of Gaze—


And next—I met her on a Cloud—

Myself too far below

To follow her superior Road—

Or its advantage—Blue—


F593 (1863) J629



Virginia Wolf Moon, Moon in Poems
Virginia Wolf, 1882 - 1941

The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume Three: 1925-1930


I see the mountains in the sky; the great clouds; and the moon; I have a great and astonishing sense of something there, which is “it”—it is not exactly beauty that I mean. It is that the thing is in itself enough: satisfactory, achieved. A sense of my own strangeness, walking on the earth is there too: of the infinite oddity of the human position; with the moon up there and those mountain clouds.