Notes for Emily Dickinson’s poetry

PL We may ask ourselves a simple question: do we believe Emily Dickinson tried to tell about very exceptional Ears, Bees, or Birds, so peculiar that you write them with capital letters? The text may be used under any of the following licenses: CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE 4.0, BY-SA 3.0, and LICENSE 2.5. Emily Dickinson's poetry … Continue reading Notes for Emily Dickinson’s poetry


PL Mine by the right of the white election! Mine by the royal seal! Mine by the sign in the scarlet prison Bars cannot conceal! Mine, here in vision and in veto! Mine, by the grave’s repeal Titled, confirmed, — delirious charter! Mine, while the ages steal! First print Love I, 1 Johnson 528 | … Continue reading Mine


PL You left me sweet, two legacies, — A legacy of love A Heavenly Father would content, Had He the offer of; You left me boundaries of pain Capacious as the sea, Between eternity and time, Your consciousness and me. First print Love II J poem 644 | Fr poem 713 The text may be … Continue reading Bequest

Alter? When the Hills Do

PL Alter? When the hills do. Falter? When the sun Question if his glory Be the perfect one. Surfeit? When the daffodil Doth of the dew: Even as herself, O friend! I will of you! First print Love III Johnson 729 | Franklin 755 The text may be used under any of the following licenses: … Continue reading Alter? When the Hills Do


PL Elysium is as far as to The very nearest room, If in that room a friend await Felicity or doom. What fortitude the soul contains, That it can so endure The accent of a coming foot, The opening of a door! First print Love IV Johnson 1760 | Franklin 1590 The text may be … Continue reading Suspense


PL Doubt me, my dim companion! Why, God would be content With but a fraction of the love Poured thee without a stint. The whole of me, forever, What more the woman can, — Say quick, that I may dower thee With last delight I own! It cannot be my spirit, For that was thine … Continue reading Surrender

If You Were Coming in the Fall

PL If you were coming in the fall, I’d brush the summer by With half a smile and half a spurn, As housewives do a fly. If I could see you in a year, I’d wind the months in balls, And put them each in separate drawers, Until their time befalls. If only centuries delayed, … Continue reading If You Were Coming in the Fall

With a Flower

PL I hide myself within my flower, That wearing on your breast, You, unsuspecting, wear me too — And angels know the rest. I hide myself within my flower, That, fading from your vase, You, unsuspecting, feel for me Almost a loneliness. First print Love VII Johnson 903 | Franklin 80 The text may be … Continue reading With a Flower


PL That I did always love, I bring thee proof: That till I loved I did not love enough. That I shall love alway, I offer thee That love is life, And life hath immortality. This, dost thou doubt, sweet? Then have I Nothing to show But Calvary. First print Love VIII Johnson 549 | … Continue reading Proof

Have You Got a Brook

PL Have you got a brook in your little heart, Where bashful flowers blow, And blushing birds go down to drink, And shadows tremble so? And nobody knows, so still it flows, That any brook is there; And yet your little draught of life Is daily drunken there. Then look out for the little brook … Continue reading Have You Got a Brook


PL As if some little Arctic flower, Upon the polar hem, Went wandering down the latitudes, Until it puzzled came To continents of summer, To firmaments of sun, To strange, bright crowds of flowers, And birds of foreign tongue! I say, as if this little flower To Eden, wandered in — What then? Why, nothing, … Continue reading Transplanted

The Outlet

PL My river runs to thee: Blue sea, wilt welcome me? My river waits reply. Oh, sea, look graciously! I’ll fetch thee brooks From spotted nooks, — Say, sea, take me! First print poem XI, 11 Johnson 162 | Franklin 219 The text may be used under any of the following licenses: CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE … Continue reading The Outlet

In Vain

PL I cannot live with you, It would be life, And life is over there Behind the shelf The sexton keeps the key to, Putting up Our life — his porcelain, Like a cup Discarded of the housewife, Quaint or broken; A newer Sevres pleases, Old ones crack. I could not die with you, For … Continue reading In Vain


PL Carl Sandburg, Cornhuskers; feel welcome to my translation to Polish. I was born on the prairie and the milk of its wheat, the red of its clover, the eyes of its women, gave me a song and a slogan. Here the water went down, the icebergs slid with gravel, the gaps and the valleys … Continue reading Prairie


PL There came a day at summer’s full Entirely for me; I thought that such were for the saints, Where revelations be. The sun, as common, went abroad, The flowers, accustomed, blew, As if no soul the solstice passed That maketh all things new. The time was scarce profaned by speech; The symbol of a … Continue reading Renunciation

Love’s Baptism

PL I’m ceded, I’ve stopped being theirs; The name they dropped upon my face With water, in the country church, Is finished using now, And they can put it with my dolls, My childhood, and the string of spools I’ve finished threading, too. Baptized before without the choice, But this time consciously, of grace Unto … Continue reading Love’s Baptism


PL It was a long parting, but the time For interview had come; Before the judgment-seat of God, The last and second time These fleshless lovers met, A heaven in a gaze, A heaven of heavens, the privilege Of one another’s eyes. No lifetime set on them, Apparelled as the new Unborn, except they had … Continue reading Resurrection


PL I'm wife; I’ve finished that, That other state; I’m Czar, I’m woman now: It’s safer so. How odd the girl’s life looks Behind this soft eclipse! I think that Earth seems so To those in Heaven now. This being comfort, then That other kind was pain; But why compare? I’m wife! stop there! First … Continue reading Apocalypse

The Wife

PL She rose to his requirement, dropped The playthings of her life To take the honorable work Of woman and of wife. If aught she missed in her new day Of amplitude, or awe, Or first prospective, or the gold In using wore away, It lay unmentioned, as the sea Develops pearl and weed, But … Continue reading The Wife


PL Come slowly, Eden! Lips unused to thee, Bashful, sip thy jasmines, As the fainting bee, Reaching late his flower, Round her chamber hums, Counts his nectars — enters, And is lost in balms! First print Love poem XVIII, 18 Johnson 211 | Franklin 205 The text may be used under any of the following … Continue reading Apotheosis

Index, Love

PL (1) I. MINE Johnson poem 528 | Franklin poem 411 Mine by the right of the white election! Mine by the royal seal... (2) II. BEQUEST Johnson poem 644 | Franklin poem 713 You left me, sweet, two legacies, — A legacy of love... (3) III. ALTER? WHEN THE HILLS DO Johnson poem 729 … Continue reading Index, Love

New Feet Within My Garden Go

PL New feet within my garden go, New fingers stir the sod; A troubadour upon the elm Betrays the solitude. New children play upon the green, New weary sleep below; And still the pensive spring returns, And still the punctual snow! First print Nature poem I, 1 Johnson poem 99 | Franklin poem 79 The … Continue reading New Feet Within My Garden Go


PL Pink, small, and punctual, Aromatic, low, Covert in April, Candid in May, Dear to the moss, Known by the knoll, Next to the robin In every human soul. Bold little beauty, Bedecked with thee, Nature forswears Antiquity. First print Nature poem II, 2 Johnson poem 1332 | Franklin poem 1357 The text may be … Continue reading May-flower