To Fight aloud, is very Brave Poem by Emily Dickinson Summary, Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English for Students


“To fight aloud, is very brave” is a poem written by Emily Dickinson. The poem takes its title from the first line of the poem. The poem was first published in 1890 in the poet’s collection named “Poems”. The poem talks about the difference between the struggle of external battles and internal battles. The poem suggests that openly facing struggles, whether they are visible battles or inner conflicts, requires courage. It highlights the distinction between the outward clashes we witness and the quieter, personal struggles individuals endure. In essence, Dickinson praises the bravery found in confronting adversity, emphasizing the significance of both external and internal battles.

About the poet

Emily Dickinson was born in 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts. She was a prominent American poet. She was an important influence on American Literature. She had published numerous poems, including “I’m Nobody! Who are you?”, “Because I could not stop for Death” and “A Bird came down the Walk”. She captures moments of nature in a vivid and insightful manner. Dickinson’s ability to convey complex ideas with simplicity has contributed to her enduring influence in the realm of American poetry.


The poem is a short lyric poem made up of 3 quatrains, stanzas that consist of four lines each. 

Stanza 1

To fight aloud, is very brave –

But gallanter, I know

Who charge within the bosom

The Cavalry of Woe –


The poet starts the poem by talking about how battles that are fought openly are considered very brave. But for the poet, the gallantry is in the people who fight the internal battles. the poet shifts the focus, asserting that true bravery lies in those facing internal struggles. These inner battles are described as the “Cavalry of Woe,” depicting the emotional conflicts fought within one’s own heart. The poet elevates the significance of these internal struggles, suggesting that the real heroism is found in confronting and enduring personal challenges.


The poet starts by saluting the people who fight external battles. These battles are aloud and open for everyone to see. But the poet says that the gallanter that she knows is the fight within the chest. She recognises the bravery that internal battles take. This inner conflict, described as the battle within the chest, is where the true gallantry lies.

The poet recognizes the courage of individuals who, instead of displaying their struggles outwardly, look within their hearts. These brave souls confront the internal army of pain and suffering, choosing to fight these hidden battles. She says that the people who look within their hearts and find the army of pain and suffering and decide to fight it are brave as well. 

Stanza 2

Who win, and nations do not see –

Who fall – and none observe – 

Whose dying eyes, no Country

Regards with patriot love –


The poet talks about how the internal battles fought are unobserved by people. If the fight is won, then nobody sees. And if the fight is lost, then there is no sympathy from others. The poet points out that the internal turmoil, even to the point of someone’s demise, goes unseen by society. Interestingly, the poem suggests that the dying eyes of the person, despite the internal struggle, aren’t recognized as a patriotic act by any country. The dying eyes of the person is not seen by any country and considered as a patriotic act.


The poet here talks about how the nations only see and recognise loss or wins of external battles and soldiers. The internal struggles being fought are never recognised or even observed. The people fight mental fights everyday but their wins are never celebrated and they receive no sympathy when they lose. Their dying eyes are not regarded with any positive emotion. In this line the poet capitalizes the word “Country” to symbolize all the people of the negation. They do not regard the internal fights with any patriotic feelings.

Stanza 3

We trust, in plumed procession

For such, the Angels go –

Rang after Rank, with even feet –

And Uniforms of Snow.


In this stanza, the poet talks about how the people who fight internal battles should be given respect. She calls them Angles who fight like the soldiers in the military. They fight rank after rank without faltering. They have even steps and walk like uniformed warriors in snow. The description of fighting “rank after rank” without faltering emphasizes the continuous and systematic nature of their struggle. The mention of “even steps” and walking like “uniformed warriors in snow” paints a vivid image of a disciplined and orderly march, underscoring the resilience and uniformity in facing these inner challenges.


The poet in this stanza compares the people who are fighting internal battles to Angles. Just like Angles, they work silently without anyone knowing. They work like Angles without expecting any recognition. The poet also compares them to soldiers and talks about how they fight just like a physical army, in ranks.

The use of the word “Snow” in the last line symbolizes two things. The snow can be a reference to the color white, associated with peace and angels. The people with mental struggles are like angels in white uniforms, fighting battles. The snow can also mean hardships. The people walk without faltering and with even steps through snow and obstacles to fight their battles.