Friday, March 31, 2017

As much of Noon as I could take

Before I got my eye put out
I liked as well to see —
As other Creatures, that have Eyes
And know no other way —

But were it told to me — Today —
That I might have the sky
For mine — I tell you that my Heart
Would split, for size of me —

The Meadows – mine —
The Mountains — mine —
All Forests — Stintless Stars —
As much of Noon as I could take
Between my finite eyes —

The Motions of the Dipping Birds —
The Morning's Amber Road —
For mine — to look at when I liked —
The News would strike me dead —

So safer — guess — with just my soul
Upon the Window pane —
Where other Creatures put their eyes —
Incautious — of the sun —

Knowing what she did, how she saw, how writing saved her life and sanity and to not write would have been to not breathe, imagine how she felt when she feared she might go blind. Emily Dickinson had an operation on her eyes in Boston (one of several journeys she made that both negate and explain the myth of her reclusiveness) when she was in her early 20s, and was told not to read for several months, to avoid bright light, and all sorts of other tortures for this person for whom reading and writing were life. One imagines her vowing through those dark days, that if she regained her sight, she would devote her life to poetry, wasting no time on frivolous social calls or small talk or infants or as many trivialities as she could possibly avoid.

And she did.

The Meadows — mine –
The Mountains – mine —

And they were.

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