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Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Summary & Analysis
by Emily Dickinson

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"Tell all the truth but tell it slant —" muses on how to go about telling the truth, arguing that delivering truth too directly will only overwhelm the recipient. Instead, the speaker says, it's best to get at the truth in a sort of roundabout way, telling it gently or bit by bit, so as not to shock people with its "brilliance." Written by Emily Dickinson—one of America's greatest and most influential poets—the poem showcases her characteristically imaginative style, managing to express vast abstract ideas in succinct, tightly constructed lines. Like nearly all of Dickinson's poems, it was not published until after her death, though it would have been written sometime between 1858-1865.

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