I had no time to hate because Poem by Emily Dickinson Summary, Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English for Students


The poem “I had no time to hate because” was written by Emily Dickinson. It was first published in the poetry collection named “Poems” in the year 1890. The main themes behind the poem are love, death, life. The poem talks about how the poet controls her emotions in her life. 

About the Poet:

Emily Dickinson was an American poet. During her period she was regarded as one of the most important poets of American poetry. She had written nearly 1800 poems. Most of the poems were unpublished in her lifetime. Emily Dickinson redefined American poetry with her unique writing style.In most of her poems she used unique line breaks and unexpected rhymes. Some of her famous poems are “Because I could not stop for death”, “Success is counted sweetest”, “I’m nobody”.


“I had no time to hate because” is a short poem by Emily Dickinson. It contains eight lines in total, which is separated into two stanzas. Each stanza consists of four lines.


The poet has used iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter alternatively in the poem. For instance the first and third lines have eight syllables whereas the second and fourth lines have six syllables.


The poet Emily Dickinson is the speaker of the poem “I had no time to hate because”. Thus the poem is written from a first person point of view. This can be seen through the following line.

I had no time to hate, because

Poem Analysis:

Stanza 1:

Lines 1-4:

I had no time to hate, because

The grave would hinder me,

And life was not so ample I

Could finish enmity.

The speaker begins the poem with a declaration that she doesn’t have time to hate anyone. Because she knows that life is short and unpredictable. To show hatred seemed useless and worthless to her. She says that everything ends with death. Thus, all the emotions and desires one carries in their whole life becomes worthless after the end of life. The speaker feels that life is not enough to end enmity. So, the speaker wants to utilise the time in some productive ways.

Stanza 2:

Lines 5-8:

Nor had I time to love; but since

Some industry must be,

The little toil of love, I thought,

Was large enough for me.

In the second stanza the speaker declares that life is not enough to love either. Though to love is better than hating. She feels that a little work and compromises can only make a relationship worthwhile. Though she is not giving her full support towards love, she feels love is better than enmity. The word “industry” refers to the skills required in making a relationship fruitful. Here, the speaker is comparing those little skills to the raw materials of an industry. The speaker rejects the process of loving someone throughout life. So she feels a little love is enough for the whole life to keep and cherish.