Noted thus far, very lightly in pencil, near the top of the blank page opposite the Index of First Lines, the poems numbered 435, 712, and 730, beginning, respectively,
Much Madness is divinest Sense —
I could not stop for Death —
Defrauded I a Butterfly —
all three of which are old favorites of mine — and yet when I encountered them in my slow but steady progress through Emily Dickinson’s Complete Poems, they still caught me by surprise. And on reading them again this afternoon, they leave me breathless, not quite halfway through the book.
February 17, 2020
Warm, the Flesh, Sweet, the Veil
Warm, the flesh, sweet, the veil — tremble, to touch,
breathless, pale — what falls away, is not betrayal,
or seems like death, to fail — such joy, confess,
that flesh is ship, and spirit, sail.
Recently Banned Literature, November 9, 2014