Monday, March 13, 2017

The Soul that hath a Guest

Another Emily Dickinson poem for this morning's collage inspiration:

The Soul that hath a Guest
Doth seldom go abroad—
Diviner Crowd at Home—
Obliterate the need—

And Courtesy forbid
A Host's departure when
Upon Himself be visiting
The Emperor of Men—

Emily Dickinson wrote a lot about the internal landscape, its wondrous and terrifying topography, its dark places, the ever-changing quality of its light. All poets do this, of course, but Dickinson is our standard, the extreme by which all others are measured. She mapped this internal landscape in ways few of us would be willing to do.

What is a soul? Perhaps it is this willingness to look within, to explore one's inner landscape. That's about as true a definition as I have found, having never felt an affinity to any traditional religious or even spiritual definition of "soul." And "the soul that hath a guest"—wow, that must be a very beautiful, very inviting soul indeed, willing to look within and willing to be seen.

Soul and solitude and sense. Diviner crowd at home.

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