Thursday, October 17, 2013

forever — is composed of nows —


I've just listened to artists describe what they have created out of inspiration from Emily Dickinson's poetry. I think of her, writing in solitude and isolation, and what this meant to, and for, her. I think of what we try to say, with difficulty, but are still compelled to say. Just as life goes on birthing life, we've no idea how this works, really, but it does, and it must.

Words pencil-written
to the very edge
of an envelope 
veins in a leaf
pointing to the bright
rim at leaf’s edge —
that green life
not ending but giving
its own light to the air 

Title is from Dickinson's poem.



20 comments:

  1. We writers do work in isolation. I truly enjoy this being alone with one's work, but in those existential moments when the fabric of life peels back a bit, you see.....and say, 'aha' there it is: those veins, pointing to the bright rim.

    As Robert says, delicately, eloquently written, Ruth.

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    1. Thank you, Amanda. I admire your perseverance in your writing very much. I wish you very well.

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  2. Lovely.

    Have you read the book "White Heat", Ruth? It's an insightful story of Dickinson's relationship with Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

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    1. Thank you, Maureen. I had not heard about the book. It sounds fascinating. I wonder if the title (which is from her poem #33) refers in part to the Civil War.

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  3. Ah...I love Dickinson, her poem ("the Latitude of Home" you too always describe that so well, and give it meaning), and your beautiful words and images, all to the edge...
    Ahhh, again...
    I will have to come back for the first link.

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    1. Thank you, DS. I searched online for "the Latitude of Home" poem and didn't find it. I'd love to read it.

      As for the video, the last artist, Lesley Dill, had work at the Art Institute in Chicago in May in the exhibit "The Artist and the Poet", and I was very moved by it: photos of people with poetry written on their bodies.

      My favorite was A Word Made Flesh, Back, you can see here:

      http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/135479?search_no=1&index=4

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    2. I'll have to email you the poem that line is from. Loved loved the video of artists. Dill's work is fascinating. Thank you.

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    3. Oh thank you. And I'm glad you loved the video too, and found Dill's work fascinating. My favorite of hers is the woman's back, with "soul" ...

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    4. Oh DS, I'm such a ditz; the "latitude of home" is in the poem I took the title from. I studied it too little, apparently and went off in my own direction ...

      (not unlike me at all)

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  4. To echo the 'light' in your last stanza -you have captured the lightness of the intangible - (now I'm getting all twisted up in trying to describe what you have so eloquently done.)

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    1. It's OK, thank you, Elizabeth. I get twisted up all the time trying to express what is real to me.

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  5. THIS is my letter to the world,
    That never wrote to me,—

    The simple news that Nature told,
    With tender majesty.

    Her message is committed 5
    To hands I cannot see;
    For love of her, sweet countrymen,
    Judge tenderly of me!

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    1. We do, my friend, we do.

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    2. Yes we do. I've begun reading her poems from the beginning, and I loved that the first two lines captured the sense of this post. :)

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  6. I listened this morning to an interview with Jane Hershfield and she described the necessity for attention to the moment to write poetry. Your poem reminds me of that- such attention to that leaf. A fine instruction.

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    1. Oh Mary, this is simple and it resonates with me. I love Jane Hirshfield, and have been moved by her spirituality. Thank you.

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  7. Il est heureux que la création garde ses secrets et heureusement, il n'existe pas de cours de talent ! Ainsi, ce poème me réjouit l'esprit et je n'ai pas besoin de savoir comment il a été conçu pour ressentir ce bonheur de lecture.
    Merci à toi.

    Roger

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All responses are welcome.