National Poetry Month: The Letting Go

What can I say about Emily Dickinson besides that she was a genius, a one-of-a-kind, inimitable talent, and that alongside Walt Whitman she is considered to be one of the two parents of American poetry? Shall I mention that her poems seem to belong to both the earthly and spiritual worlds, and to walk a very thin tightrope between them? Or that her poems send shivers up my spine and take the top of my head right off?

The poem I’ve selected this week, which can be found in Love Poetry Out Loud (edited by Robert Alden Rubin), isn’t a love poem in the conventional sense. It’s about grief and separation, and about the profound stillness that follows emotional intensity like the stillness after a storm.

– Sarah Rose Nordgren, Publicity Assistant

.

#372

After great pain, a formal feeling comes –

The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –

The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’

And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –

A Wooden way

Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –

Regardless grown,

A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

This is the Hour of Lead –

Remembered, if outlived,

As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –

First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –

One Comment On This Post:

April 24, 2011
7:28 pm
Hira H. says...

“As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –

First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –”

My God, that sent chills down my spine! Such an amazing poem. Thank you for sharing it with us! :D

Post A Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>