I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground. So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, tim...more "Dirge Without Music"
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground. So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind: Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned. Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you. Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust. A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew, A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.
The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love, They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve. More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned. (less)
I am ashamed to admit that I had dismissed Emily Dickinson as some kind of cutesy, greeting card, nature poet prior college when I -- a non-honors stu...moreI am ashamed to admit that I had dismissed Emily Dickinson as some kind of cutesy, greeting card, nature poet prior college when I -- a non-honors student -- managed to sneak into an honors discussion course about her poetry where I quickly gained a new respect for her.
This selection of Emily Dickinson's poems is wonderful except for one omission: the poem "In Winter in my Room," which I handwrote in the back of my copy.
In Winter in my Room I came upon a Worm -- Pink, lank and warm -- But as he was a worm And worms presume Not quite with him at home -- Secured him by a string To something neighboring And went along.
A Trifle afterward A thing occurred I'd not believe it if I heard But state with creeping blood -- A snake with mottles rare Surveyed my chamber floor In feature as the worm before But ringed with power --
The very string with which I tied him -- too When he was mean and new That string was there --
I shrank -- "How fair you are"! Propitiation's claw -- "Afraid," he hissed "Of me"? "No cordiality" -- He fathomed me -- Then to a Rhythm Slim Secreted in his Form As Patterns swim Projected him.
That time I flew Both eyes his way Lest he pursue Nor ever ceased to run Till in a distant Town Towns on from mine I set me down This was a dream. (less)
Once I was given the great gift of Wendell Berry's poem "Do Not Be Ashamed," which can be found in this selection of his poetry.
"Do Not Be Ashamed"
You...moreOnce I was given the great gift of Wendell Berry's poem "Do Not Be Ashamed," which can be found in this selection of his poetry.
"Do Not Be Ashamed"
You will be walking some night in the comfortable dark of your yard and suddenly a great light will shine round about you, and behind you will be a wall you never saw before. It will be clear to you suddenly that you were about to escape, and that you are guilty: you misread the complex instructions, you are not a member, you lost your card or never had one. And you will know that they have been there all along, their eyes on your letters and books, their hands in your pockets, their ears wired to your bed. Though you have done nothing shameful, they will want you to be ashamed. They will want you to kneel and weep and say you should have been like them. And once you say you are ashamed, reading the page they hold out to you, then such light as you have made in your history will leave you. They will no longer need to pursue you. You will pursue them, begging forgiveness. They will not forgive you. There is no power against them. It is only candor that is aloof from them, only an inward clarity, unashamed, that they cannot reach. Be ready. When their light has picked you out and their questions are asked, say to them: "I am not ashamed." A sure horizon will come around you. The heron will begin his evening flight from the hilltop. (less)