Monday, October 17, 2016

To Emily Dickinson by Hart Crane

You who desired so much—in vain to ask—
Yet fed your hunger like an endless task,
Dared dignify the labor, bless the quest—
Achieved that stillness ultimately best,

Being, of all, least sought for: Emily, hear!
O sweet, dead Silencer, most suddenly clear
When singing that Eternity possessed
And plundered momently in every breast;

—Truly no flower yet withers in your hand,
The harvest you descried and understand
Needs more than wit to gather, love to bind.
Some reconcilement of remotest mind—

Leaves Ormus rubyless, and Ophir chill.
Else tears heap all within one clay-cold hill.

To be honest, I never found Emily Dickinson all that interesting, although that may be because all of my women teachers in junior and senior high school thought she was the bee's knees, mainly because they tended to be introverts, seemingly cat-ladies-in-training, who identified with her.  Hart Crane felt differently, and this poem actually granted me a better appreciation for the shut-in of Amherst.  [Follow the link to a modest profile of Crane from an earlier post on The Coracle.]