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 HouseThe 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!