Happy Belated Birthday, Emily Dickinson!

I just realized that Emily Dickinson’s birthday was yesterday.   In her honor I will share two of my favorites written by her.  The first I memorized when my Dad died about a decade ago.  The thought of working so hard to subdue pain (big or small) was something I had long felt comforted by.  Reading and re-reading and then reciting that poem as I grieved my Dad’s passing helped me focus on how silly I was to do that.   Really, can any of us ever neatly and tidily put love away?  It made me realize that I just had to feel that awful, awful, pain.  No amount of lists, tasks, and chores would get rid of it for me.  Once I conceded, everything got easier.

The Bustle in a House

The Bustle in a House

The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted opon Earth –
 
The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –
 
The other poem is a whole lot more fun.  I love to imagine just what that “thing with feathers” looks like on any given day.  And I am so glad that it never stops.  No matter what.  Thank you, you beautiful, beautiful, bird.
 

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
 
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
 
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
 
And, thank you, Emily Dickinson.  Happy Birthday!
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