by Amy Clampitt

Page 2

This poem was written, it is believed, in the flood year of 1862. I'm now going to turn to several other poems of Emily Dickinson, written somewhat later. They're, most of them, not to be found in the anthologies. Most of them, when I proceeded to read straight through her work, were new to me. These were some that struck me particularly:

Oh Sumptuous moment
Slower go
That I may gloat on thee -
'Twill never be the same to starve
Now I abundance see -

Which was to famish, then or now -
The difference of Day
Ask him unto the Gallows led - With morning in the sky

(JP 1125)

The Snow that never drifts -
The transient, fragrant snow
That comes a single time a Year
Is softly driving now -

So thorough in the Tree
At night beneath the star
That it was February's Foot
Experience would swear -

Like Winter as a Face
We stern and former knew
Repaired of all but Loneliness
By Nature's Alibi -

Were every storm so spice
The Value could not be -
We buy with contrast - Pang is good
As near as memory -

(JP 1133)

Alone and in a Circumstance
Reluctant to be told
A spider on my reticence
Assiduously crawled

And so much more at Home than I
Immediately grew
I felt myself a visitor
And hurriedly withdrew

Revisiting my late abode
With articles of claim
I found it quietly assumed
As a Gymnasium
Where Tax asleep and Title off
The inmates of the Air
Perpetual presumption took
As each were special Heir -
If any strike me on the street
I can return the Blow -
If any take my property
According to the Law
The Statute is my Learned friend
But what redress can be
For an offence nor here nor there
So not in Equity -
That Larceny of time and mind
The marrow of the Day
By spider, or forbid it Lord
That I should specify.

(JP 1167)

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