Saturday 25 March 2017

As Imperceptibly as Grief ...

Emily Dickinson has been here before many times. She wrote nearly 3,000 poems, often on scraps of paper, envelopes and shopping lists, all of them short and most dealing in brief compass with the profundities of existence. She lived for all of her 55 years in her academic father's house, many of them in near total seclusion. The reasons for this have been much debated, and the usual theory of an unfortunate love affair and a broken heart has been advanced, without much justification. She had opportunities to publish her poems in her lifetime, but did not avail of them. They were known, however, to her family and even neighbours, to whom she read them, and after her death her sister-in-law collected them. She is one of the greatest poets to use the English language in the 19th century.

Anthony Cronin

As imperceptibly as Grief

The Summer lapsed away --

Too imperceptible at last

To seem like Perfidy --

A Quietness distilled

As Twilight long begun,

Or Nature spending with herself

Sequestered Afternoon --

The Dusk drew earlier in --

The Morning foreign shone --

A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,

As Guest, that would be gone --

And thus, without a Wing

Or service of a Keel

Our Summer made her light escape

Into the Beautiful.

Sunday Independent

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