Celebrating World Poetry Day with Dickinson Snippets—

In honor of World Poetry Day, March 21st, here are 21 incredible Dickinson snippets pulled from both her well-known and lesser-known works:

Remorse—is Memory—awake—

Her Parties all astir—

A Presence of Departed Acts—

At window—and at Door—

It’s Past—set down before the Soul

And lighted with a match—

Perusal—to facilitate—

And help Belief to stretch—

[…]

* * * *

A Doubt if it be Us

Assists the staggering Mind

In an extremer Anguish

Until it footing find—

[…]

* * * *

When One has given up One’s life

The parting with the rest

Feels easy, as when Day lets go

Entirely the West

[…]

* * * *

And this, of all my Hopes

This, is the silent end

Bountiful colored, My Morning rose

Early and sere, its end

[…]

* * * *

I cannot be ashamed

Because I cannot see

The love you offer—

Magnitude

Reverses modesty

[…]

* * * *

Will pass without the parting

So to spare

Certificate of Absence—

Deeming where

I left Her I could find her

If I tried—

This way, I keep from missing

Those that died

* * * *

The missing All, prevented Me

From missing minor Things.

If nothing larger than a World’s

Departure from a Hinge

[…]

* * * *

Bind me—I still can sing—

[…]

* * * *

Crumbling is not an instant’s Act

A fundamental pause

Dilapidation’s processes

Are organized Decays—

[…]

* * * *

Best Things dwell out of Sight

The Pearl—the Just—Our Thought—

Most shun the Public Air

Legitimate, and Rare

[…]

* * * *

Older feel than the Hope that prompted—

Spotless be from blame

Heart that proposed as Heart that accepted

Homelessness, for Home—

[…]

* * * *

Too scanty ‘twas to die for you,

The merest Greek could that.

The living, Sweet, is costlier—

I offer even that—

[…]

* * * *

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 Certainty that one

No color in the Rainbow

Perceive, when you are gone—

* * * *

‘Twas my one Glory—

Let it be

Remembered

I was owned of Thee—

* * * *

To Whom the Mornings stand for Nights,

What must the Midnights—be!

[…]

* * * *

Elder, Today, A session wiser,

And fainter, too as Wiseness is

[…]

* * * *

To make Routine a Stimulus

Remember it can cease—

[…]

* * * *

So much of Heaven has gone from Earth

That there must be a Heaven

[…]

* * * *

We do not know the time we lose—

The awful moment is

And takes its fundamental place

Among the certainties—

A firm appearance still inflates

The card—the chance—the friend—

The spectre of solidities

Whose substances are sand

* * * *

The smouldering embers blush—

Oh Cheek within the Coal

Hast thou survived so many nights?

The smouldering embers smile—

[…]

* * * *

The Day She goes

Or Day she stays

Are equally supreme—

Existence has a stated width

Departed, or at Home—

3 thoughts on “Celebrating World Poetry Day with Dickinson Snippets—

  1. Robin, what an excellent post and, for me, a wonderful way to start my Tuesday morning! 🙂

    I can’t remember when I first read Emily Dickinson’s poetry. It was undoubtedly in high school. The crowning moment for my teenage interest in Dickinson was when I took notice of her birth date: Dec. 10. We share a birth sign: Sagittarius. At the time I thought that was pretty cool. 🙂 Actually, I still do!

    In a past life, I taught English at a small university in Mississippi, and that was when I started reading Dickinson, and I never stopped. One of the highlights of my academic life was taking a course in Emily Dickinson at Indiana U. of Pennsylvania. The professor, Karen Dandurand, was a Dickinson scholar. For the final night, we were asked to come with a Dickinson poem that you would read out loud. There would be no discussion, no comments. This exercise took up the last hour of class. We listened only to the poetry of Emily Dickinson. We went around the room, reading poem after poem after poem. It was an incredible experience. After the last student read her poem. We sat speechless at the sheer beauty and power of the poetry.

    I’m not a Dickinson scholar, but I still read her poetry and now, I’m in the middle of the Alfred Habegger biography, “My Wars Are Laid Away in Books.” It’s excellent, but I definitely agree with your remarks on your “About” page. There is so much about the poet, about her poetry, that defies analysis.

    An anecdote that Dr. Dandurand told the class one evening. Back in the 70s, she was involved in prep work of getting Dickinson’s house in Amherst ready for visitation and all of that. She was with several other women and one man, a noted Dickinson scholar. The women were downstairs when they heard a commotion at the top of the stairs. They turned and were stunned to see the man, who was slight in stature, standing at the top of the stairs, wearing one of Emily Dickinson’s outfits. He later confessed that he felt compelled to put the dress on, thinking it might draw him closer to her spirit. I don’t think I would do such a thing, but given the fascinating aura of mystery that still surrounds Dickinson, I understand the motive.

    Sorry for rambling. I’m happy to have come across your blog. I look forward to your posts. I hope you and yours are doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paul, thank you so much for your comment! It absolutely made my day. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the “bits” collected; I tried very hard to narrow to 21 so it could align with the event… but I can envision that as a long time Dickinson reader yourself, you understand the sacrifices I made in the process (ha). (“But also this one…and this one…and this one…oh! And this one…”)

      Also, could anyone cast too much blame on the gentleman in the dress in the 70s?? I mean, to my knowledge, the college faculty lived in the home for years before the museum was realized—so perhaps he didn’t see any harm? (Lol) If history is correct about Dickinson’s humor, she probably would’ve gotten quite the laugh herself.

      A few years ago, I did one of the—gosh, I can’t remember for the life of me what they are called now—studio sessions (?) in Emily’s room at the museum. I came with the most subdued, reverential air, and—as a ‘writer’ myself—with the. most. profound. desire to write something terribly consequential while inside the room (*envisions self, years later, saying “yes, yes, I wrote the entire 450 page novel under trance while in Emily Dickinson’s room”*)—and yet I emerged with such compelling lines as, “I cannot feel my feet. I bet she couldn’t sometimes either” and “I could write things but honestly, this is her ROOM, self” and so forth.

      One could be a fan of plenty less deserving, I suppose…but like so many, I absolutely admit to drawing plenty of Dickinson-awe-induced blanks.

      I am jealous of your Dickinson course and Dr. Dandurand experiences. 😉 I loved the bio you’re reading—and I still find it fascinating that across the lot of them, so many contradictions exist (but that’s what makes it so much fun). At this point, I believe I have read most all but Leyda’s; have you read it? I have both volumes, but I haven’t cracked them yet. Have you read Face to Face by Martha? Bias aside, it’s got to be my favorite simply for the memories she shares. If you haven’t, I’ll make a post soon with some of the best captures.

      So glad you enjoyed the page and stop by anytime! Wishing you and yours well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Robin for the wonderful reply. You are way ahead of me on Dickinson biographies, but that’s a good thing becase now I have a great source for my own reading. I haven’t read the Bianchi biography, but like yourself, I too enjoy reading the words of one who was close to the subject and who can share those moments that a scholar may jot down on a 3×5 card but not include in the bio. Gaskill’s Life of Bronte comes to mind when I say that.

        I did find “Face to Face” on Ebay, but it’s a bit pricey. It’s something I would like to read, so hey, maybe a bit of a sacrifice might be in order. In fact, the money I’m saving on gas during this lockdown could easily be diverted to purchasing Bianchi’s book! 🙂

        Thanks again, and I look forward to your next post.

        Like

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