Sunday, August 26, 2012

Emily Takes the Stage

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. I reviewed it on Goodreads, which made me laugh. Date finished reading: Never. One to five stars: 10,000. Bookshelf: my iPhone, so I'm never without a Dickinson poem, should the need arise. I'm tempted to only quote Dickinson in a review of this luminary of solitude, this pristine custodian of her own periodic deaths, and this mystically crowned priestess of Nature's God. When my inspiration flags, a Dickinson poem restores zest and also humility. If I had to pick a favorite poet, Emily Dickinson is it. My homage to her:

Emily Takes the Stage

The Day that I was crowned
Was like the other Days --
Until the Coronation came --
And then -- 'twas Otherwise --

Like the Beach Blanket Babylon
lady who carries a city on her head,
some women walk to the soul’s well,
balancing with both hands the water
for their thirsty village,
but you balanced on your slender neck
a galaxy-wide diadem.
It dropped jewels everywhere,
in field and town, in school and parlor,
in letter and note. Children, maids,
and innocents pounced on
those green, glinting stones.
Unlike the Babylon lady,
you didn’t need props
to hold up your crown.
You only needed to lighten it
by strewing and sewing into packets
your wit and gems.