As if the Sea Should Part
by Emily Dickinson
As if the Sea should part
And show a further Sea —
And that — a further — and the Three
But a presumption be —
Of Periods of Seas —
Unvisited of Shores —
Themselves the Verge of Seas to be —
Eternity — is Those —
I aspire to be dubbed an idler. It sounds like a knighthood for sonnet writers. The Beneficent Society of Idlers strikes a nice cord, maybe with a large pennant on a red velvet cord for worthy recipients. Great unutterable thoughts that somehow are still uttered is what makes poetry a glue that connects people across time and place. Dickinson is the master of the unutterable and letting unutterances exist between the words and yet be completely understood despite each of our understandings different.
Poetry is not a user manual. It is not meant to be literal or complete. The best of it it is a glimpse into another’s inner life, hopes, dreams and miseries. And if the Sea should part and understanding is lying gleaming in the sand, don’t rush in too quick to pick it up. Let the Sea return to equilibrium and let it soak for a bit. And then dive down again to revel in your discoveries, holding your breath with excitement.
They Dub Thee Idler
by Henry Timrod (1828 – 1867)
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