41 I often passed the village

 

I often passed the Village
When going home from school –
And wondered what they did there –
And why it was so still –

I did not know the year then,
In which my call would come –
Earlier, by the Dial,
Than the rest have gone.

It’s still than the sundown.
It’s cooler than the dawn –
The Daisies dare to come here –
And birds can flutter down –

So when you are tired –
Or – perplexed – or cold –
Trust the loving promise
Underneath the mould,
Cry “it’s I,” “take Dollie,”
And I will enfold!

[Emily Dickinson]

Written autumn 1858, bound into Fascicle 3 the following year.

Dollie was a nickname for Emily’s dear friend, Susan.

Peace, Love, & Namaste –

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40 I hav’nt told my garden yet

I hav’nt told my garden yet –
Lest that should conquer me.
I hav’nt quite the strength now
To break it to the Bee –

I will not name it in the street
For shops w’d stare at me –
That one so shy -so ignorant
Should have the face to die.

The hillsides must not know it –
Where I have rambled so –
Nor tell the loving forests
The day that I shall go –

Nor lisp it at the table –
Nor heedless by the way
Hint that within the Riddle
One will walk today –

[Emily Dickinson]

We made it to 40! In many more than 40 days, I know, but really I don’t mind if this takes the next ten years of my life. I’ll be reading her poetry forever, and I can only post when it feels right.

This one was written in autumn 1858, in Fascicle 3. Interesting that she seems especially sensitive about death here, not quite at peace with it, not strong enough to let people know it’s coming.

Love, peace, and namaste –

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39 I never lost as much but twice

 

I never lost as much but twice –
And that was in the sod.
Twice have I stood a beggar
Before the door of God!

Angels – twice descending
Reimbursed my store –
Burglar! Banker – Father!
I am poor once more!

[Emily Dickinson]

Oh, the levels, the soul, the depth of feeling! She has expressed the ineffable confluence of emotion that is grief.

Love and namaste –

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38 I never told the buried gold

 

I never told the buried gold
Opon the hill that lies –
I saw the sun, his plunder done –
Crouch low to guard his prize –

He stood as near
As stood you here –
A pace had been between –
Did but a snake bisect the brake
My life had forfeit been.

That was a wondrous booty.
I hope ’twas honest gained –
Those were the fairest ingots
That ever kissed the spade.

Whether to keep the secret –
Whether to reveal –
Whether while I ponder
Kidd may sudden sail –

Could a shrewd advise me
We might e’en divide –
Should a shrewd betray me –
“Atropos” decide –

[Emily Dickinson]

Atropos – Greek: without turn. One of the three Fates – goddesses of destiny. The oldest of the three, Atropos was known to be inflexible. She chooses the mechanism of death and snips the thread of life with her “abhorred shears.”

Written autumn 1858 and bound into Fascicle 3. This one seems light and airy at first, but wow. I read it aloud last night and am writing it out today, and it has grown to be a meditation on childhood and adulthood, on the fracturing that can happen to our joy, on the trauma that can intrude on our lives and steal away our treasure. Damn, girl! I love this. I hope you do, too.

Namaste –

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37 By chivalries as tiny

 

By Chivalries as tiny,
A Blossom, or a Book,
The seeds of smiles are planted –
Which blossom in the dark.

[Emily Dickinson]

Written in the fall of 1858 and bound into Fascicle 3. I copied this one down and had it hanging it my apartment for a while – it’s a sweet bit of encouragement┬áto be kind. An affirmation that the slightest action does make a difference, even if it doesn’t seem to in the moment. A reminder that people remember how you make them feel over what your wearing or how your hair looks.

As Annie sang in the musical I watched as a kid – “You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”

Namaste –

 

36 If I should die

 

If I should die –
And you should live –
And time sh’d gurgle on –
And morn sh’d beam –
And noon should burn –
As it has usual done –
If Birds should build as early
And Bees as bustling go –
One might depart at option
From enterprise below!
‘Tis sweet to know that stocks will stand
When we with Daisies lie –
That Commerce will continue –
And Trades as briskly fly –
It makes the parting tranquil
And keeps the soul serene –
That gentlemen so sprightly
Conduct the pleasing scene!

[Emily Dickinson]

Written autumn 1858, Fascicle 3. I just love her whimsically realistic relationship with Death, showcased sweetly here. Also, her capitalization is worth noting. Throughout her work, you’ll find patterns. Used to show respect, to personify, to emphasize – attribute whatever reasoning you please. Play.

Namaste –

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35 Sleep is supposed to be

Sleep is supposed to be
By souls of sanity
The shutting of the eye.

Sleep is the station grand
Down wh’, on either hand
The hosts of witness stand!

Morn is supposed to be
By people of degree
The breaking of the Day.

Morning has not occurred!

That shall Aurora be –
East of Eternity –
One with the banner gay –
One in the red array –
That is the break of Day!

[Emily Dickinson]

Written about autumn 1858, originally with a dedication to her father playfully protesting his insistence on early rising. She later bound it into Fascicle 3, without the dedication, and, while it is a witty case for staying in bed a little longer, it transcends this to celebrate the dawn of a new day for the soul, the mind, the mood – any breaking of weight that might be haunting the spirit.

So, at whatever you time you read this, I wish you good morning –

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34 Taken from men this morning

 

 

Taken from men – this morning –
Carried by men today –
Met by the Gods with banners –
Who marshalled her away –

One little maid – from playmates –
One little mind from school –
There must be guests in Eden –
All the rooms are full –

Far – as the East from Even –
Dim as the border star –
Courtiers quaint, in Kingdoms
Our departed are.

[Emily Dickinson]

This was written in autumn 1858 and bound into Fascicle 3.

ED used her lexicon like a Bible, selecting each word with intention and understanding. I like to look up certain words, even if they’re already familiar to me – sometimes the official definitions are richer than the ones I know.

Even – steady; unwavering; consistent; equal; balanced.
Marshall – gather and arrange in a force to perform an action.
Quaint – unusual; old-fashioned; delightful; delicate; incomprehensible. From┬áLatin cognitum, to ascertain.

Namaste –

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33 Whether my bark went down at sea

Written Autumn 1858, bound into Fascicle 3. Ah, the daily adventures of the mind and soul –

 

Whether my bark went down at sea –
Whether she met with gales –
Whether to isles enchanted
She bent her docile sails –

By what mystic mooring
She is held today –
This is the errand of the eye
Out opon the Bay.

[Emily Dickinson]

And, with practice, the eye becomes sharper, quicker. And the bark becomes increasingly resilient.

Sail bravely –

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32 The morns are meeker than they were

We’ve entered Fascicle 3! I swear I haven’t skipped around, the poems naturally jump from 1 to 3 this way. We’ll see if 2 comes up later on. Now it’s Fall of 1858, and, of course, she captures the change of season in her language –

 

The morns are meeker than they were –
The nuts are getting brown –
The berry’s cheek is plumper –
The Rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf –
The field a scarlet gown –
Lest I sh’d be old fashioned
I’ll put a trinket on.

[Emily Dickinson]

How can one ever hope to keep up with Nature’s everchanging beauty? Simply, one cannot. I’ll tell you a secret – beauty isn’t a contest. It’s not a zero sum game. We can all be abundantly beautiful, and celebrating each other’s beauty intensifies our own. Find beauty in everything and you will find beauty in yourself; we reflect what we see in the world.

Namaste, beautiful –

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