Three by Dickinson II
Poems by Emily Elizabeth Dickinson.
Summer begins to have the look
Peruser of enchanting Book
Reluctantly but sure perceives
A gain upon the backward leaves —
Autumn begins to be inferred
By millinery of the cloud
Or deeper color in the shawl
That wraps the everlasting hill.
The eye begins its avarice
A meditation chastens speech
Some Dyer of a distant tree
Resumes his gaudy industry.
Conclusion is the course of All
At most to be perennial
And then elude stability
Recalls to immortality.
The name — of it — is "Autumn" —
The hue — of it — is Blood —
An Artery — upon the Hill —
A Vein — along the Road —
Great Globules — in the Alleys —
And Oh, the Shower of Stain —
When Winds — upset the Basin —
And spill the Scarlet Rain —
It sprinkles Bonnets — far below —
It gathers ruddy Pools —
Then — eddies like a Rose — away —
Upon Vermilion Wheels —
It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down —
It was not Night, for all the Bells
Put out their Tongues, for Noon.
It was not Frost, for on my Flesh
I felt Siroccos — crawl —
Nor Fire — for just my Marble feet
Could keep a Chancel, cool —
And yet, it tasted, like them all,
The Figures I have seen
Set orderly, for Burial,
Reminded me, of mine —
As if my life were shaven,
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key,
And 'twas like Midnight, some —
When everything that ticked — has stopped —
And Space stares all around —
Or Grisly frosts — first Autumn morns,
Repeal the Beating Ground —
But, most, like Chaos — Stopless — cool —
Without a Change, or Spar —
Or even a Report of Land —
To justify — Despair.
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (1960), ed. Thomas H. Johnson, pp. 687, 326f, 248f.
See also Three by Dickinson: Poems by Emily Elizabeth Dickinson.
Lane Core Jr. CIW P Sun. 10/10/04 09:13:47 AM
Categorized as Literary & Sunday Poetry Series.