William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

What Happened to Emily?

It would be foolish to suppose I know more about Emily Dickinson than anyone else who has taken the time to read her nearly eighteen hundred poems. In fact it’s likely I know much less. But I’ve loved her music, and will go on loving it. Cryptic as many of her poems seem to me, she was an artist in her subtle use of near rhyme and transformative rendering of natural images. Her method didn’t change much over the years, nor, it seems to me, did her vision. My impression is that what she felt, knew, and understood about life, death, and the hereafter near the end of her life, she felt, knew, and understood in pretty much the same way at the age of thirty or thirty-five. I can only wonder about her daily life beyond the poems, which seem to smile at any interpretation that is too smart, too diligent, or too reliant on scholarly presumption. Like the finest embroidery, her ideas of love, pain, loss, death, God, nature, and belief are threaded together as surely as they are delicately. Her poems were made to last. That I don’t understand all of them, and that it’s quite possible I understand only a few of them, doesn’t bother me in the least. They are a gift to the world — a world which, by its very nature, is open to as many interpretations as there are of us who care to think and breathe.

March 8, 2020

What Happened to Emily?

Stung by mortal Bee — a bumbling God — she mined

Herself — His hidden wealth — and found Paradise — as odd.

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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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