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I wrote this post as a community TA for the Coursera course Modern and Contemporary American Poetry.  


I intend to show here that Emily Dickinson documented her intentions to lead an alien invasion of Earth and become its overlord in the poem “I Dwell in Possibility.”

I dwell in Possibility–

She lives in her spaceship, optimistically named Possibility, awaiting the vanguard of her alien invasion force.

A fairer house than Prose–

Her alien army wishes to conquer Earth because they have ruined their own world with pollution and war. Their world, strangely enough, was named “Prose” (note the status of the planet’s name as a proper noun explains the mysterious capitalization).

More numerous of Windows–

They only use Apple products on their planet- never Microsoft- so they are technologically superior.

Superior– for Doors–

They are far too advanced intellectually to ever be interested in anything as banal as human music, such as classic rock or psychedelic music.

Of Chambers as the Cedars–

Their life support systems produce oxygen from photosynthesis, like trees do.

Impregnable of Eye–

There is a force field around her ship that makes it invisible.

And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky–

It is a spaceship, of course.. the sky’s the limit!

Of Visitors– the fairest

She sees her alien species (the Visitors) as superior to human beings. They’re therefore entitled to conquer the Earth.

For Occupation– This–

She intends for her invading army to quickly overwhelm human defenses and establish an alien occupation over “This-” the entire planet.

The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise

Her armies will sweep over the planet, taking it under her control and gathering up the “paradise” her species needs to survive (at the expense of humanity).


Please note: this is obvious satire. I am not making fun of either Emily Dickinson or this course.

This post is for everybody who feels intimidated in the Forum. Nothing you could possibly write could be more absurd than This–

so go for it.