I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Saturday, 7 June 2014

A Light Exists In Spring (7)

A poet who took definition as her province, Emily Dickinson challenged the existing definitions of poetry and the poet’s work. Like writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman, she experimented with expression in order to free it from conventional restraints. Like writers such as Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, she crafted a new type of persona for the first person. The speakers in Dickinson’s poetry, like those in Brontë’s and Browning’s works, are sharp-sighted observers who see the inescapable limitations of their societies as well as their imagined and imaginable escapes. To make the abstract tangible, to define meaning without confining it, to inhabit a house that never became a prison, Dickinson created in her writing a distinctively elliptical language for expressing what was possible but not yet realised. POETRY FOUNDATION

A Light Exists in Spring

A light exists in spring
   Not present on the year
At any other period.
   When March is scarcely here

A color stands abroad
   On solitary hills
That science cannot overtake,
   But human nature feels.

It waits upon the lawn;
   It shows the furthest tree
Upon the furthest slope we know;
   It almost speaks to me.

Then, as horizons step,
   Or noons report away,
Without the formula of sound,
   It passes, and we stay:

A quality of loss
   Affecting our content,
As trade had suddenly encroached
   Upon a sacrament.

EMILY DICKINSON

4 comments:

sackerson said...

Wow. I'm pleased I read that. (I like Emily D. and didn't know this one).

am said...

".... Without the formula of sound ... "

She gets my attention every time.

Watched "Searching for Sugarman" yesterday. Such a joy. Thanks again!

Ruth Mowry said...

The poem progresses beautifully, and then those last two lines. Pow (but without a sound).

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, all three. Pleased you enjoyed that film, Am!