A Poem a Day: Emily Dickinson

Today’s selection is from Emily Dickinson. I used to not have much patience for her clipped, cryptic lines of verse. But I was forced to write a paper about today’s selection, and I’ve come to see the boulder of ice beneath the waters surrounding the tip of the iceberg. My professor, a Dickinson scholar, highly recommended this edition.

When it comes to Dickinson, editions are vital. The text highlighted in red come from a variation of poem 291 found in the Variorum edition of her work. The lines in black font are from my edition. Also, please try to imagine the poem split up into four line stanzas: I despise the formatting obstacles presented to me by WordPress where I cannot even split up lines of text. I will fix it when I become more knowledgeable in these matters.

Also, here is another fun comic from Cabanon Press.

It sifts from Leaden Sieves – (291)

By Emily Dickinson

It sifts from Leaden Sieves –
It powders all the Wood –
It fills with Alabaster Wool
The Wrinkles of the Road –
It makes an even Face
Of Mountain, and of Plain –
Unbroken Forehead from the East
Unto the East again –
It reaches to the Fence –
It wraps it Rail by Rail
Till it is lost in Fleeces –
It deals Celestial Vail
To Stump, and Stack – and Stem –
A Summer’s empty Room –
Acres of Joints, where Harvests were,
Recordless, but for them –
It Ruffles Wrists of Posts
As Ankles of a Queen –
Then stills it’s Artisans – like Ghosts –
Denying they have been –
It scatters like the Birds –
Condenses like a Flock –
Like Juggler’s Figures situates
Upon a baseless Arc –
It traverses yet halts –
Disperses as it stays –
Then curls itself in Capricorn –
Denying that it was –
Max D. Standley, engraving - fine art print

Max D. Standley, engraving – fine art print

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