New Take on Life (and Death) from Emily

Some things that I just love about Emily Dickinson’s poetry is that she tends to shine light on very common, simple words from the English language that we use practically every single day. I love her use of capital letters in random spots for random words just as well, since it draws a great deal of emphasis to that one word. We notice a little feature such as that because it defies what we’re taught as youngsters just learning how to read and write for the first time. This literary device, in fact, is almost like a semantic flashlight for those simple words on which Dickinson intended to focus throughout the poem.

The Great Emily Dickinson

The Great Emily Dickinson

I also believe her endearing, witty work happens to be timeless. Here’s a personal favorite; it’s very short and sweet. But it forced me to view life and death a bit differently than I always had, and truly invigorated my faith in God. This piece that I am about to share came from a little compilation book that I was thumbing through filled strictly with Dickinson’s poetry entitled Final Harvest, put together by Thomas H. Johnson around 1951.

They leave us with the Infinite.

But He – is not a man –

His fingers are the size of fists –

His fists, the size of men –

And whom he foundeth, with his Arm

As Himmaleh, shall stand –

Gibraltar’s Everlasting Shoe

Poised lightly on his Hand,

So trust him, Comrade –

You for you, and I, for you and me

Eternity is ample,

And quick enough, if true.

– page 76

I absolutely loved this one. And I’m a person that believes even if you do not understand or happen to catch all the particular specific references in a piece of literary work, it’s still possible to love the writing just as much as any person who could. Beautiful, beautiful.

God bless you.

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