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Tag Archives: Emily Dickinson

A poem that doesn’t name its subject

In southern Maine we are getting our first significant snowfall.  Here is a lovely, clever poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) which never names its subject.

snow landscape

It sifts from Leaden Sieves –

It powders all the Wood.

It fills with Alabaster Wool

The Wrinkles of the Road –

 

It makes an Even Face

Of Mountain, and of Plain –

Unbroken Forehead from the East

Unto the East again –

 

It reaches to the Fence –

It wraps it Rail by Rail

Till it is lost in Fleeces –

It deals Celestial Vail

 

To Stump, and Stack – and Stem –

A Summer’s empty Room –

Acres of Joints, where Harvests were,

Recordless, but for them –

 

It Ruffles Wrists of Posts

As Ankles of a Queen –

Then stills its Artisans – like Ghosts –

Denying they have been –

 

Poem for May

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The following is a lovely short poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), who lived in Amherst, Massachusetts.  The mayflower, the state blossom of Massachusetts, is blooming here in the Maine woods in our late, rather wet spring.

 

May-Flower

 

Pink, small and punctual,

Aromatic, low,

Covert in April,

Candid in May,

 

Dear to the moss,

Known by the knoll,

Next to the robin

In every human soul.

 

Bold little beauty,

Bedecked with thee,

Nature forswears

Antiquity.

 

 

mayflower

Two Short Poems

lupine

I tend to like brevity and economy in poetry.  I think this is a common feeling since so many people like to read, and write, haiku and other short, pithy forms where every word counts.  (Of course there are also wonderful long poems.)   My own poems usually fit on one page.  Here are two examples of excellent very short poems. This one is by Emily Dickinson.

That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.
Believing what we don’t believe
Does not exhilarate.
That if it be, it be at best
An ablative estate —
This instigates an appetite
Precisely opposite.

And here is a clever one by A.R. Ammons:

Their Sex Life

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