Someone once said I write like Emily Dickinson.  She was amazing. I am not in her league. The comparison was not to fame but to style.  I am somewhat jerky, descriptive with my thoughts and emotions and like a hammer with how I say what I say.  I think she was a realist.  I read her stuff.  She felt deeply.  She felt deeply about many things in life - about nature, God, family, friends, her emotions, wanting love, waiting for love, death, longing, sadness, hope, mystery.  She painted great word pictures.  Some of my favorites of her works follow:

YOU cannot put a fire out;
  A thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a fan
  Upon the slowest night.

You cannot fold a flood         5
  And put it in a drawer,—
Because the winds would find it out,
  And tell your cedar floor.

HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;         5
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I ’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;         10
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

I MEASURE every grief I meet
  With analytic eyes;
I wonder if it weighs like mine,
  Or has an easier size.

I wonder if they bore it long,         5
  Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the date of mine,
  It feels so old a pain.

I wonder if it hurts to live,
  And if they have to try,         10
And whether, could they choose between,
  They would not rather die.

I wonder if when years have piled—
  Some thousands—on the cause
Of early hurt, if such a lapse         15
  Could give them any pause;

Or would they go on aching still
  Through centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger pain
  By contrast with the love.         20

The grieved are many, I am told;
  The reason deeper lies,—
Death is but one and comes but once,
  And only nails the eyes.

There ’s grief of want, and grief of cold,—         25
  A sort they call “despair”;
There ’s banishment from native eyes,
  In sight of native air.

And though I may not guess the kind
  Correctly, yet to me         30
A piercing comfort it affords
  In passing Calvary,

To note the fashions of the cross,
  Of those that stand alone,
Still fascinated to presume         35
  That some are like my own.

I love the imagery those words paint.  She seemed to accurately write what I feel but am unable to always order clearly from my heart to my head  - those things I cannot fully know how to define until I read what she writes.  She finishes the sentence, the thought clearly for me.  That is a gift.  I think any writer, poetic, or lyricist hopes what they say speaks corporately though it stems from an personal place within, a desire, an angst, a thought, a story that has to come out.  That their words strike an emotion, a connection, a validation in the hearer's heart, mind and spirit.  Emily nails it time and time again.  I have to think would she have been born somewhere in the mid 20th century she may have been a songwriter (1830-1886).  Leave out some goests and shalls and she could have written some mad lyrics.    My daughter and I had a texting conversation today regarding emotional intelligence and how that is displayed.  How in touch we are with our own emotions and the emotions of others determines how we have relationships to everyone.  I am thankful for anyone who is free enough to express what they think, what they feel though not in a hurtful way.  People who have emotional intelligence to face and share their emotional thoughts and passions rank high to me.  It connects me to them, creates a familiarity of experiences that actually supports and encourages my own humanity.  I am grateful to Emily, and others, for sharing their journeys, thoughts, emotions, struggles, pain and joy with the rest of us.  Their gift has encouraged me and spoken to me time and time again.

1 comment:

  1. "Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason." -Novalis

    "Poetry should... should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance." -John Keats

    Nothing makes me happier than a poetry post. :))