POEM: _____________________ [Day 29 NaPoMo: Dickinsonian]

[Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman were poetic revolutionaries whose new approaches to the art were highly influential in the creation of a distinctive American tradition of poetry. It’s often said that all Dickinson’s poems are written in common meter (alternating lines of four and three feet) and can thus be sung to “Yellow Rose of Texas” or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” While that’s not perfectly accurate, it is true that a substantial portion of her work fits that mold. In terms of form, the other thing Dickinson is famed for is the use of dashes, though there is no consensus agreement about a well-defined rationale for their use.

Moving from form to content, Dickinson’s style offers a singular approach to metaphor. Also, while she usually deals in weighty topics such as death and loneliness, her verse often has a whimsical / witty tone. (e.g. “Because I could not stop for Death — He kindly stopped for me –” (479)) Her poems normally feature a first person and frame that person as — first and foremost — an observer (i.e. a seer and a hearer.)

Also, I’ve not put a title to this poem because Dickinson didn’t title her poems. They are normally ordered by first line, a number, or both. This isn’t a form of laziness, but seems to reflect Dickinson’s preference for propelling the reader into the heart of the matter without prelude.]

A Poem lands a heavy blow
against these muted walls.
To those who think this Cell, my cell —
I’m never here — at all.

For I’m a wave on churning Seas —
a thousand miles away.
‘Twas written so — long days ago,
no page has bid me stay.

2 thoughts on “POEM: _____________________ [Day 29 NaPoMo: Dickinsonian]

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