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Three by Dickinson III

Poems by Emily Elizabeth Dickinson.

465

I heard a Fly buzz when I died
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air
Between the Heaves of Storm

The Eyes around had wrung them dry
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset when the King
Be witnessed in the Room

I willed my Keepsakes Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable and then it was
There interposed a Fly

With Blue uncertain stumbling Buzz
Between the light and me
And then the Windows failed and then
I could not see to see

(1862/1896)

712

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess in the Ring
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain
We passed the Setting Sun

Or rather He passed Us
The Dews drew quivering and chill
For only Gossamer, my Gown
My Tippet only Tulle

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground
The Roof was scarcely visible
The Cornice in the Ground

Since then 'tis Centuries and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity

(1863/1890)

280

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading treading till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum
Kept beating beating till I thought
My Mind was going numb

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race
Wrecked, solitary, here

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing then

(1861/1896)

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (1960), ed. Thomas H. Johnson, pp. 223f, 350, 128f.

See also Three by Dickinson II: Poems by Emily Elizabeth Dickinson.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sat. 10/16/04 03:47:25 PM
Categorized as Literary & Sunday Poetry Series.

   
         
         

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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”