I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.
Nor had I time to love, but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.
This is a great poem and it helps us reconcile a couple of very important points in life. The first is time. What are you spending your time on? Are you spending your time hating someone or something that’s happened in the past? Dickinson tells us that “life was not so ample I could finish enmity” which to me translates into stop wasting time on negativity.
She also gives a very good glimpse into the issue of love. Love is more than passion, its more than lust. It is for lack of a better term, a time sink. The people you love are the ones whom which you go the extra mile, do the things that make you uncomfortable, they are worth it.
She’s telling us that she has no time for it, but its essential, as “some industry must be”. Investing your time into those you love is a “little toil”. Its worth it, as the dividends you get in the long run are going to be key to your survival as a person. Having someone in this world who actually gives a shit about you is sometimes the catalyst for being able to carry on. I know somedays it is for me.