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 Latin 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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31 To him who keeps an orchis’ heart

Written late summer 1858 – this is the last poem of Fascicle I. And a lovely ode to a flower sends us on our way –

 

To him who keeps an Orchis’ heart –
The swamps are pink with June.

[Emily Dickinson]

I wasn’t sure what an orchis was, so I looked it up –

orchis orchid flower

In the orchid family – it looks to me like a mix between an orchid and a snapdragon. Often pink, sometimes purple.

Let this be inspiration to buy yourself some flowers today and keep a flower’s heart with you – it’s almost June, but there’s something about getting a blossom or a bouquet, even more so when it comes from yourself.

Peace and Love –

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30 To lose if one can find again

Written late summer 1858 on the last sheet of Fascicle I – just one more little poem in this group and we sojourn onward! But today’s is a gem, and I am relishing this journey. Savor this one with me –

 

To lose – if One can find again –
To miss – if One shall meet –
The Burglar cannot rob – then –
The Broker cannot cheat.
So build the hillocks gaily –
Thou little spade of mine
Leaving nooks for Daisy
And for Columbine –
You and I the secret
Of the Crocus know –
Let us chant it softly –
There is no more snow”!

[Emily Dickinson]

Let me encourage you to spend a bit of time with these poems – often it takes several readings for me to absorb the full weight of her words, and even then I’m sure there’s more. That’s what I love about her poetry: it provides a challenge. Let yourself see everything as a metaphor, every word as an image – wander, play, experiment. Create your own adventure.

Love –

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29 All these my banners be

Late summer 1858, last sheet of Fascicle I.

 

All these my banners be.
I sow my – pageantry
In May –
It rises train by train –
Then sleeps in state again –
My chancel – all the plain
Today.

[Emily Dickinson]

The chancel is a part of a church reserved for choir and clergy. Nature is the community, the decoration, the noble looker on. I love the image of a little woman directing trees and flowers and grasses to grow and blossom, like a conductor.

Joy and peace –

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27 Flees so the phantom meadow

Written late summer 1858. This one and the last were combined into one in an un-author-approved publication  in 1945 and 1960. But she transcribed them into her Fascicle I separately. This is a sweet one; a bit of commentary follows –

 

Flees so the phantom meadow
Before the breathless Bee –
So bubble brooks in deserts –
On ears that dying lie –
Burn so the evening spires
To eyes that Closing go –
Hangs so distant Heaven –
To a hand below.

[Emily Dickinson]

This is all about pining, that innate longing humans have for our true home apart from this world. Here’s a challenge – live like you’re already there. Bring Heaven to Earth, whatever that means to you.

Love –

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