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Saturday, December 11, 2021

Dickinson - Unique For Her Era.


“Because I could not stop for death, He kindly stopped for me; the carriage held but just ourselves, and immortality.” –Emily Dickinson


Dickinson – born on Dec. 10, 1830 – was not famous in her own short lifetime (she died at age 56 not long after writing the lines above), but her nearly 1,800 poems discovered after her death did, indeed, bring her immortality.  While Dickinson was a prolific writer, she had only one dozen poems published while alive, and those works were edited to fit conventional poetic rules of the time.


Dickinson's other poems are unique for her era.  Written in short lines, they often lack formal titles, contain unconventional capitalization and punctuation, and often use slant rhyme, a type of rhyme formed by words with similar but not identical sounds (also called “approximate” rhyme).  The best-selling collection The Poems of Emily Dickinson was not published until 1955.  To “see” more about her life, check out the highly regarded Dickinson, a TV series starring Hailee Steinfeld (on Apple TV+). 


For Saturday’s poem here is Dickinson's,



"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.



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