Friday, October 31, 2008

The Pocket-friendly Emily Dickinson

This is a handsome little book I bought about a year ago at Norli in Oslo, Norway. It is about 10X15 cm, and fits nicely in my handbag. I literally carry it with me wherever I go.

During train rides, or when sitting at my desk reading and writing notes and dissertations, I often pick this volume up for a break from what I am doing and for some creative input.

You can open this book on any page; originality and depth and striking metaphors will hit your eye in each poem here selected. Most of these poems are from around 1862 when Dicinson was in her most productive and literary interesting period.

Sometimes you just need a bit of comfort, or a sense of kinship, or you simply wish to be astonished by someone's imagination and perceptability, depth of insight and originality of thought.

Yesterday this poem was a gift of comfort to me. No need to say anything about the poem, it speaks for itself.


There is a pain — so utter —
It swallows substance up —
Then covers the Abyss with Trance —
So Memory can step
Around — across — upon it —
As one within a Swoon —
Goes safely — where an open eye —
Would drop Him — Bone by Bone.


Ca 1862

1 comment:

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

I own this edition. It's great.

I found your blog when I googled "David Whyte Faith," then I remembered that I posted the poem a few years a go.

I really like your blog and thank you for posting. I may borrow some poems from here and will give you a hat tip.

Are you familiar with Zelda's work. I posted about 8 of her poems over the last couple of months. She's a mazing, I think.

Anyway, thanks again for this great blog.