JOINING TOGETHER/PUTTING ASUNDER: AN ESSAY ON EMILY DICKINSON'S POETRY / IN A NUMBER of important poems Emily Dickinson depicts a phenomenon of nature and simultaneously ponders its significance. Her concern is epistemológica! and religious: what does the visible world of nature tell us about the nature of the invisible world, the reserve of God? The following, one of the best-known, is typical: Further in Summer than the Birds Pathetic from the Grass A minor Nation celebrates Its unobtrusive Mass. No Ordinance be seen So gradual the Grace A pensive Custom it becomes Enlarging Loneliness. Antiquest felt at Noon When August burning low Arise this spectral Canticle Repose to typify Remit as yet no Grace No Furrow on the Glow Yet a Druidic Difference Enhances Nature now. 1 Emerson defines the poet as the Namer, the person who sees and says what a thing really is, and thus in a word affords us the same privilege. Dickinson is a poet who commonly withholds the name of the thing under consideration, affording us a more ambiguous pleasure. 2 At first we are highly aware of what we do not know. Then we get it: the name crickets comes to mind
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1980
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