The Poet and the Poem

The Poet and the Poem
by Theodora Goss

The Emily we remember
is not Emily,
who gathered apples before they could fall
from the tree
to lie rotting on the grass, where bees
would feast on their sweetness.
Not the woman
dressed in white dimity
who walked through the garden to find
a basket half-forgotten
by nieces and nephews, filled
with carved wooden circus animals,
an elephant, a giraffe, a painted
tiger, grinning
with his painted teeth.
Who, laughing, half out of breath,
left parcels for those same
nieces and nephews — a jar of honey
or a humorous rhyme
from Aunt Emily.

We remember
that she would not stop for death,
that she was nobody, flitting
through the attic of imagination,
telling the truth obliquely,
the chalk outline of a woman
made, if you look closely,
from words.

(The image is Girl Under Apple Tree by Edvard Munch.)

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2 Responses to The Poet and the Poem

  1. Nancy says:

    Lovely tribute to Miss Dickinson. One of my favorite poets and persons.

  2. peetersnic says:

    Very evocative poem! Bravo!

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