Friday, April 21, 2017

A Flint unto this Day

We met as Sparks—Diverging Flints
Sent various—scattered ways—
We parted as the Central Flint
Were cloven with an Adze—
Subsisting on the Light We bore
Before We felt the Dark—
A Flint unto this Day—perhaps—
But for that single Spark.


Emily Dickinson and her imagery of stone and minerals. Here she and the one from whom she is parted are chips of flint, which at one time met and created a spark (and the meeting of flints that produce a spark is not soft, but sudden, hard, one may almost say a violent event). And except for those brief sparks, the two are cold, hard, lifeless flint for eternity.

To me, the further metaphor is that of poems from a flint. And for that, the flint must be alone, must be by itself, striking air, and from the nothingness it strikes appears the poem. What a vision of the artist as a little God, creating, in a shower of sparks, a world from the void.

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