Thursday, November 1, 2007

All Soul's Day -- Poetry Edition

On the Acaedmy of American Poets' website (, 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.


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!)