Sunday, February 18, 2024

After-Dickinson (poem)

The Word from the Corner

Shared on North Andover Poets Corner on FB

A few years ago, we watched the show Dickinson. I recommend it highly! If you are someone who loves poetry - someone who loves the power of words - you will be transported. It's really well done - there's a lot to like about it. It bends history - pretty far! - but best of all, it does so in artful ways that serve the drama - that open up Emily Dickinson, her life, her times and her words. I won't say more about it, other than the show - and the episode that included the history of an eclipse - inspired this poem today. Here it is.



Poetry is best
done in private 
out of the Light 
done in a Dark Room
then destroyed 
but remembered
like the Echo of Light 
like the Eclipse that burns
the After-Sun on the Eye 
leaving a Ghost in the Dark 
leaving the Phosphors
permanent on the sight –
leaving only the Light
of your Face.

After I wrote this, I found this one by Emily Dickinson:

We grow accustomed to the Dark -
When Light is put away -
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Good bye -

A Moment - We uncertain step
For newness of the night -
Then - fit our Vision to the Dark -
And meet the Road - erect -

And so of larger - Darknesses -
Those Evenings of the Brain -
When not a Moon disclose a sign -
Or Star - come out - within -

The Bravest - grope a little -
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead -
But as they learn to see -

Either the Darkness alters -
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight -
And Life steps almost straight.