As Summer into Autumn slips
And yet we sooner say
‘The Summer’ than ‘the Autumn,’ lest
We turn the sun away […]
~Emily Dickinson, from #1346 (1875)
I am afraid to own a Body —
I am afraid to own a Soul —
Profound — precarious Property —
Possession, not optional —
Double Estate — entailed at pleasure
Upon an unsuspecting Heir —
Duke in a moment of Deathlessness
And God, for a Frontier.
~Emily Dickinson, #1090 (1866)
We met as Sparks — Diverging Flints
Sent various — scattered ways —
We parted as the Central Flint
Were cloven with Adze —
Subsisting on the Light We bore
Before We felt the Dark —
A Flint unto this Day — perhaps —
But for that single Spark.
~Emily Dickinson, #958 (1864)
You asked how old I was? I made no verse — but one or two — until this winter — Sir — [she actually had about 300 by this time]
I had terror — since September — I could tell to none — and so I sing, as the Boy does by the Burying Ground — because I am afraid — You inquire my Books — For Poets, I have Keats — and Mr and Mrs Browning. For Prose — Mr Ruskin — Sir Thomas Browne — and the Revelations. I went to school — but in your manner of the phrase — had no education. When a little Girl, I had a friend, who taught me Immortality — but venturing too near, himself — he never returned — Soon after, my Tutor died — and for several years my Lexicon — was my only companion — Then I found one more — but he was not contented I be his scholar — so he left the Land.
You ask of my Companions— Hills — Sir — and the Sundown — and a Dog — large as myself that my father bought me — They are better than Beings — because they know — but do not tell — and the noise in the Pool, at Noon — excels my Piano.
I sing to use the Waiting
My Bonnet but to tie
And shut the Door unto my House
No more to do have I
Till His best step approaching
We journey to the Day
And tell each other how We sung
To Keep the Dark away.
~Emily Dickinson, #850 (1864)
To this World she returned.
But with a tinge of that —
A Compound manner,
As a Sod
Espoused a Violet,
That chiefer to the Skies
Than to Himself, allied,
Dwelt hesitating, half of Dust,
And half of Day, the Bride.
~Emily Dickinson, #830 (1864)
As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away —
Too imperceptible at last
To seem like Perfidy —
A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
Sequestered Afternoon —
The Dusk drew earlier in —
The Morning foreign shone —
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, that would be gone —
And thus, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape
Into the Beautiful.
~Emily Dickinson, #1540 (1865)
Have you got a Brook in your little heart,
Where bashful flowers blow,
And blushing birds go down to drink,
And shadows tremble so —
And nobody knows, so still it flows,
That any brook is there,
And yet your little draught of life
Is daily drunken there —
Why, look out for the little brook in March,
When the rivers overflow,
And the snows come hurrying from the hills,
And the bridges often go —
And later, in August it may be —
When the meadows parching lie,
Beware, lest this little brook of life,
Some burning noon go dry!
~Emily Dickinson, #136 (1859)
Do you look out to-night? The moon rides like a girl through a topaz town.
~Emily Dickinson, from a letter to Samuel Bowles, January 1862 (via litverve