Success is counted sweetest by Emily Dickinson

Written in 1859 and first published anonymously in the Brooklyn Daily Union on April 27, 1864, Emily Dickinson’s ‘Success is Counted Sweetest’ is a lyric poem. The poem talks about the importance of defeat as only those who have defeated understand the value of winning. This poem by Emily Dickinson reflects on the idea that success is sweeter when it is achieved after a struggle.

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of victory

As he defeated – dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!