Friday, September 14, 2007

The Poem in Question

THIS is my letter to the world,

That never wrote to me,—

The simple news that Nature told,

With tender majesty.

Her message is committed

To hands I cannot see;

For love of her, sweet countrymen,

Judge tenderly of me!

The first line of Emily Dickinson's famous poem seemed like a perfect name for a blog. The common image is (I suppose) of the shy but redoubtable Emily standing in a gabled window and shouting silently to the world: "Here it is, and there's lots more!"

A simple reading of the poem belies this. The "world" here is clearly the unvoiced but active world of nature: apprehended by the senses and then, for her, almost always stretching out to an infinity that borders on the abstract. And yet it's as present as the echo of a footfall in the hallway.

The last line is important to me. What lover, parent, child or friend has not pleaded this at one time or another, if only in the privacy of the heart?

1 comment:

emmapeelDallas said...

Beautiful post, and so very true.