Emily Brontë’s Poetry  

Although famous for her only novel ‘Wuthering Heights,’ Emily Brontë started as a poet and got quite good at it, writing over 200 poems before her unfortunate passing at age 30.

Emily Brontë

(1818 - 1848), English Novelist and Poet

Emily Brontë, however, didn’t sail those waters alone, as Charlotte and Anne – two of her sisters who were also brilliant writers – joined the game, with the three sisters collaborating on their first literary work which was published under a pseudonym. Emily is considered a better poet than her sisters – charlotte and Anne. This article will examine some of Emily Brontë’s best poetic works. 

Poems By Emily Brontë


Lines’ is one of several poems authored by Emily Brontë. Written ten years before ‘Wuthering Heights’ was published, ‘Lines’ talks about the disillusionment of life as felt by the poem’s protagonist, which, subtly, tracks back to Emily Brontë herself. In ‘Lines,’ there is a general tone of apathy toward death or dying, and the famous first line from the first stanza reading summarizes everything the reader would later encounter throughout the poem. 

Emily Brontë’s state of mind at the time of writing ‘Lines’ was one battered and broken by grief caused by the death of her mother, Maria Barnwell Brontë, and sisters, Elizabeth and Maria Brontë. Although Emily was brought up in a Christian way – which meant that she was trained to uphold the values of a Victorian woman, her poem, ‘Lines,’ violated such principles because she talked about dark aspects like death or dying – which were considered inappropriate for women’s discussions at the time.

In ‘Lines,’ Emily talks about how distressed and afflicted she’s become from moistening so much to the extent that she no longer fears death and even thinks of death as a welcome guess, the one that can save her from the stress of life, and ultimately bring her to safety and grant her rest from all the chaos and torments. 

A Death-Scene

Written in 1844, three years before ‘Wuthering Heights’ was published, ‘A Death-Scene,’ like ‘Lines,’ carries the word ‘Die’ in its first line, and this sets a somber mood for the poem. But unlike in ‘Lines’ where she subtly refers to herself, in ‘A Death-Scene’ her main character becomes Augusta Geraldine Almeda, the queen of Gondal, a fictional world Emily and Anne Brontë had created. 

In ‘A Death-Scene,’ Augusta appears to be tending to her dying man as she lies beside him and gives him all the succor and moral support she could muster. In earlier stanzas, Augusta is filled with nothing but hope and optimism that her man can cheat death and come back strong to her – so she uses words that exude positive vibes as she addresses him. 

In later stanzas, she implored him to get up from his long overdue sleep and engage her. Emily Brontë describes, through Augusta, her character, the scenic atmosphere, and it lushes with a pleasant twilight, or ‘golden evening’ as she calls it, and a vast and beautiful spread of the lakes. All these breed hope and belief, the more reason Augusta feels her man needs to wake up and enjoy such natural grace with her. 

In the concluding stanzas, Queen Augusta gets a reality check and embraces the fact that her man is gone forever, never to wake up from her slumber. That’s when she finally finds the heart to check his breathing, and for sure, she finds he is truly gone, and to this reality, she resigns to fate.

To a Wreath of Snow 

To a Wreath of Snow’ is another beautiful poem by Emily Brontë, which she wrote during another emotionally tough time for her family. Like ‘A Death-Scene’, which features Augusta as the frontal character, ‘To a Wreath of Snow’ also spotlights the queen of Gondal. But beyond that, the inspiration for the poem comes from a life-threatening illness suffered by her little sister, Anne Brontë – which subsequently led to her swift withdrawal from school.

For this reason, Emily escapes to the imaginary world of Gondal, which she and Anne had created. Through the eye of Queen Augusta Geraldine Almeda, on a typical autumn day, Emily looks to the horizon in search of hope. She eventually finds one, ‘Snow,’ and is thrilled by that. She describes the snow as a heavenly grace and traveler whose presence is ‘angel-like’ and transforming. She concludes that since it’s coming from heaven, then it must be god-sent. 

As a recap for ‘To a Wreath of Snow,’ Emily’s interest was in mustering the right amount of hope it takes to keep her strong and positive and also believing in the recovery process of Anne. 


How many poems did Emily Brontë write?

During her lifetime, Emily published a total of 21 poems. However, she’d written more than 200 poems in all – all of which would later be published posthumously. 

How good a poet was Emily Brontë?

Emily Brontë may be well known for his only book, ‘Wuthering Heights,’ she was considered a more talented poem than her sisters, with her sister, Charlotte Brontë, author of ‘Jane Eyre,’ once admitting Emily was better. 

What is Emily Brontë’s most popular poem? 

Emily Brontë has several great and popular poems. However, ‘A Death-Scene’ is notably popular in the literature world for its depth of imagination and also for its lessons. 

Victor Onuorah
About Victor Onuorah
Victor is as much a prolific writer as he is an avid reader. With a degree in Journalism, he goes around scouring literary storehouses and archives; picking up, dusting the dirt off, and leaving clean even the most crooked pieces of literature all with the skill of analysis.
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