Friday, October 3, 2014

Emily's Autumn

This is a poem Emily Dickinson wrote in pencil onto the inside of an envelope addressed on the verso to a Samuel Bowles, his name clipped from the Springfield Republican and glued down. The stamp has been cut away and the poem cascades down the tilted envelope. Somehow the missing piece ties in with one theme of the poem, loss. I love the metaphor of a cricket as a gentle clock. Poetry Friday today at jama's alphabet soup.





1276

’Twas later when the summer went
Than when the Cricket came—
And yet we knew that gentle Clock
Meant nought but Going Home—
’Twas sooner when the Cricket went
Than when the Winter came
Yet that pathetic Pendulum
Keeps esoteric Time.


23 comments:

pmccann said...

Wow. Where did you find it.

Douglas Florian said...

This envelope poem was at exhibition at The Drawing Center here in New York. Thanx

Teresa Robeson said...

Being the inadvertent "owner" of crickets (a couple of varieties decided that they want to share their chirps with us) hiding among our house of LEGOS, I love this poem. Perfect for a fall Friday.

Douglas Florian said...

Thanx, Teresa. We have crickets in our basement occasionally but they don't seem to chirp or tell time very well.

pennyklostermann.com said...

Thanks for sharing this! What a cool thing to have Emily Dickinson's jotted poem on display! I looked up The Drawing Center. How great it would be to visit it.

Douglas Florian said...

Yes the Drawing Center is in Soho. Thanks Penny.

jama said...

Wow, this is so cool! Love the gentle clock too. Interesting to see her handwriting -- spaces between letters and lots of space between words, confirming that she was not a social person and needed space/distance from others.

Joy said...

I love how Emily's capitalization always adds extra meaning to the poems.
Thanks for sharing.

Buffy Silverman said...

So cool to see this in Emily's handwriting...and thanks for printing it out too, because the "meant nought" line was not one I would have been able to decipher. (I like Jama's handwriting interpretation!)
We've got a cricket swinging its pendulum in the basement right now.

maclibrary said...

Ah crickets, we don;t seem to see many in the PNW. What an amazing photo.

Douglas Florian said...

Yes Jama, Joy, Buffy , and maclibrary. The nuances in her writing are so sensitive and personal, as in how me is distanced in the word meant. Her work moves me so much. I wish she was alive today! Thanx all!

LInda Baie said...

Thank you for this lovely gift today, & sharing about the Drawing Center too. I just finished Burleigh Muten's novel about Miss Emily. There are such interesting layers to discover about her, and her life.

Cynthia Myers said...

thank you for this post.

Liz Steinglass said...

Lovely. How does she get away with throwing esoteric in there at the end?

Douglas Florian said...

Yes, "esoteric" surprised me as well.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

There's a book of Emily Dickinson's envelope poems. I figured you had taken this from there. Even better that you were able to see it in person! I never really knew how loud crickets were until I lived with one. Not gentle at all... at least not that one.

Catherine said...

I was happy to hear the crickets still chirping when I let to dog out a little while ago. Thanks for sharing this puzzling little poem. I couldn't help noticing that Dickinson ran out of room for the word "time" just like the crickets running out of time.

Douglas Florian said...

Yes, Michelle, our Emily wrote many poems on envelopes. I've done that often as well, but not with such a decorative hand.
And yes, Catherine, we are all running out of time.

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