And now for something completely Dickinson . . .

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Spring’s ahead of schedule this year, and so are the April showers. Nothing better on a rainy day than tea with Emily Dickinson.

What a lady. Idiosyncratic, reclusive, prolific and––though some have called her ‘The Poet of Dread”––she could be funny at times, too.

Here are three little gems. Note the distinctive voice and how her mastery at syntax turns simple vocabulary and meter into poetic gold.

To put it in her words, “The truth must dazzle gradually.”

When she tells it, it does.

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

I’m Nobody!
Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June – 
To an admiring Bog!

The Dying Need But Little, Dear

The dying need but little, dear,–
A glass of water’s all,

A flower’s unobtrusive face
To punctuate the wall,

A fan, perhaps, a friend’s regret,
And certainly that one
No color in the rainbow
Perceives when you are gone.

In the Garden

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,–
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, plashless, as they swim.

Enough for today. Turn off that computer. Put down those books. Get outdoors. It’s Friday. It’s spring.

One response

  1. Great! Thank you, Caroline.

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