Month: December 2021
“Before the ice is in the pools”
If you search for Emily Dickinson Christmas poems, your search won’t take too long. Number 37 is the only one I have found that mentions it.
Before the ice is in the pools —
Before the skaters go,
Or any cheek at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow —
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!
What we touch the hems of
On a summer’s day —
What is only walking
Just a bridge away —
That which sings so — speaks so —
When there’s no one here —
Will the frock I wept in
Answer me to wear?
J#37 Emily Dickinson
Not that Emily didn’t love the Christmas season. She was known far and wide for making and gifting her famous Black Cake during the holidays. It actually sounds delicious and I’m vowing to try my hand at it next year. Here’s a link for the recipe if you’re interested but be forewarned that the baking time is 3 -3 and 1/2 hours, low and slow!
I took a different path with the poem, as I always do, and incorporated a little science into mine. If you don’t remember the exact specifics of E,T,C, and P of the water cycle then now would be a good time to refresh your memory.
It’s also the perfect time for me to thank you for reading and following me on this Emily and Carol journey. Wishing you and yours all the very best this holiday season and always.
Peace and Love
“It Troubled Me As Once I Was”
191 years ago today, Emily Dickinson was born. How amazed would she be to know that her words would survive and become such a legacy to the world? As a little girl, she was the first of many poets I would come to admire and treasure, poets that would inspire me and make me marvel at the mystery of it all, as well as the magic created by mere consonants and vowels put together in just the right way to reveal entire astonishing worlds.
As we celebrate her life today, I imagine that being the introvert that she was, like me, she would at times find a celebrated public life tedious.
The first poem I ever memorized was her #600:
One of the many ways I relate to Emily is in the comfort found in nature, wherein lies a soothing solace, a buzzing energy, and an all-encompassing mystery that one desires fervently to live in and write about. Emily had her gardens. I have the oceans and the multitudes of life they hold. We have both found inspiration and understanding through the act of writing.
From Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which Emily attended at 16, she wrote to a friend at home,
Emily refused to be part of the flock. For her failure to accept the veneer of things, she was dubbed by the principal of the school to be one of the “No hopers”, the group of girls who were labeled as having no hope of salvation. I would venture to guess that quite a few of my own teachers had me on a similar list.
Maria Popova in The Marginalian writes of Emily Dickinson:
Peering through “the pinhole of surprising” or “telling it slant” is something Emily was quite adept at, as in poem #1263 she writes;
Being the skilled poet that she was, she didn’t seek “define” the truth, which opened the window of understanding and connection to readers who each approach it via different circuits and on their own terms. As an adult, I’ve come to understand that we do not all share the same truths, nor should we be expected to and as writer I hope to accomplish the same thing Emily did in her poems.
From an early age Emily broke with convention, not accepting the traditional role and conventions that women of her time were expected to adhere too. Veering off road like that can sometimes be a painful and solitary trek, something I can personally attest to. But doing so also allows for individuality and maximum growth, which I explore in my alteration of poem #600.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMILY DICKINSON
How the World Holds Together: Patti Smith Reads Emily Dickinson’s Poetic Premonition of Particle Physics – The Marginalian