Thursday, November 1, 2007

All Soul's Day -- Poetry Edition

On the Acaedmy of American Poets' website (www.poets.org), there's an interesting essay on the graves of poets -- there are lots of them lying around doing nothing in New England. In honor of dead poets everywhere, I give you a spooky poem from Emily Dickinson (you can see her grave in Amherst) -- the last line perfectly captures the feeling of coming across a snake unexpectantly:

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him, --did you not,
His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
Unbraiding in the sun,
--When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature's people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.

3 comments:

K. A. Laity said...

Em rocks!

K. A. Laity said...

Two of the subway cars we were on yesterday BOTH had "Tell all the truth but tell it slant." I think the universe decided that I must have needed the reminder.

Wendy said...

I think it is especially delicious how shocked the poet in Amherst would have been to see her words in such a public place (where it does the most good, IMO!)