Wednesday, December 05, 2012

poem by Emily Dickinson

I watched the Moon around the House
Until upon a Pane-
She stopped - a Traveller's privilege - for Rest -
And there upon

I gazed - as at a stranger -
The Lady in the Town
Doth think no incivility
To lift her Glass - upon -

But never Stranger justified
The Curiosity
Like Mine - for not a Foot - nor Hand -
Nor Formula - had she -

But like a Head - a Guillotine
Slid carelessly away -
Did independent, Amber -
Sustain her in the sky -

Or like a Stemless Flower -
Upheld in rolling Air
By finer Gravitations -
Then bind Philosopher -

No Hunger - had she - nor an Inn -
Her Toilette - to suffice -
Nor Avocation - nor concern
For little Mysteries

As harass us - like Life - and Death -
And Afterward - or Nay-
But seemed engrossed to Absolute -
With Shining - and the Sky-

The privilege to scrutinize
Was scarce upon my Eyes
When, with a Silver practise-
She vaulted out of Gaze-

And next - I met her on a Cloud -
Myself too far below
To follow her superior Road -
Or its advantage - Blue -

----

The biography of Emily Dickinson I'm reading (a big fat one by Richard Sewall) says that of this poem, "For all the ladylike imagery and the detached, contemplative mood of the poem, the preoccupation is with a moon whose cold indifference implies an absolute break between man and nature...[it is] a coolheaded, beautifully controlled statement of alienated man."

Interesting, no?

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