Emily wrote her poems with a particular meter (rhythm), specifically with common meter. All that means is alternating lines of eight syllables and six syllables. Yeah, I see your eyes glazing over. Don't panic, though, because there's an even better way to categorize her poetry without all the academic syllable counting.
Remember Gilligan's Island? You know, the professor and Mary Ann? Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip? Yeah. That. Got the tune stuck in your head yet? That's good, because that's exactly how you can "read" Dickinson's poetry. Turns out her meter is the same meter used in the Gilligan's Island lyrics. And now that the jingle is playing in your head, give it a whirl . . .
"Heaven"—is what I cannot reach!
The Apple on the Tree—
Provided it do hopeless—hang—
That—"He aven" is—to Me!
The Color, on the Cruising Cloud—
The interdicted Land—
Behind the Hill—the House behind—
Her teasing Purples—Afternoons—
Enamored—of the Conjuror—
That spurned us—Yesterday!
Pretty slick, eh? Try another . . .
From Tankards scooped in Pearl
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!
Inebriate of air – am I
And Debauchee of Dew
Reeling thro’ endless summer days
From inns of molten Blue
When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door
When Butterflies – renounce their “drams”
I shall but drink the more!
Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats
And Saints – to windows run
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the Sun!
Go ahead and Google more Dickinson poems. You know you want to.