Sunday, January 6, 2019

Emily Dickinson on death and resurrection

The feet of people walking home
With gayer sandals go --
The Crocus -- til she rises
The Vassal of the snow --
The lips at Hallelujah
Long years of practise bore
Til bye and bye these Bargemen
Walked singing on the shore.


Pearls are the Diver's farthings
Extorted from the Sea --
Pinions -- the Seraph's wagon
Pedestrian once -- as we --
Night is the morning's Canvas
Larceny -- legacy --
Death, but our rapt attention
To Immortality.


My figures fail to tell me
How far the Village lies --
Whose peasants are the Angels --
Whose Cantons dot the skies --
My Classics veil their faces --
My faith that Dark adores --
Which from its solemn abbeys
Such ressurection pours.


Personal Postscript — I take this poem from my inheritance (see previous posting), and I take note of the marginalia in that book. Three words appear with question marks: “Death? Resurrection? Skeptical?” I cannot improve now upon my friend’s jottings. I will have to think more about her words and the poet’s words. Well, I turn it over to you. What do you say in response to Emily Dickinson’s poem?


5 comments:

  1. "skeptical" would be my response: ED lists all the paraphernalia but leaves the question pretty much in doubt, i think... as she should, imo: i've come to see the universe and everything in it as pretty homogeneous; if life exists, then the whole thing is alive; if not, then not... but actually a lot of confusion results from language: what would we think about if it didn't exist?







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    1. Thoughts without words? Like my cat who surely thinks in some way, I’m speechless. Do animals think? Do blind and deaf people think? Do infants think? Do onions think? Hmmm.

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    2. good questions... but it's sort of like asking a person what they really look like when all they ever see is their reflection in a mirror rotated 180 degrees... (maybe that's not such a hot analogy... sorry)

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    3. i've been noticing lately that sometimes i answer questions that aren't there... misinterpreting, actually... signs of double mentia maybe...

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    4. Not to worry .... I sail on the same boat ....

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