It’s all I have to bring today – Nine Short Poems by Emily Dickinson

I’ve been trying to get back into blogging on a more regular basis, but since my grandmother’s death I just haven’t had much to say or the energy/focus to say it. However, the following short poems by the immortal Emily Dickinson perfectly capture both my feelings and my experiences during this difficult time.

“It’s all I have to bring today –”
by Emily Dickinson

It’s all I have to bring today –
This, and my heart beside –
This, and my heart, and all the fields –
And all the meadows wide –
Be sure you count – should I forget
Some one the sum could tell –
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.

“’Twas comfort in her Dying Room”
by Emily Dickinson

’Twas comfort in her Dying Room
To hear the living Clock,
A short relief to have the wind
Walk boldly up and knock
Diversion from the Dying Theme
To hear the children play
But wrong the more
That these could live
And this of ours must die

“The right to perish might be thought”
by Emily Dickinson

The right to perish might be thought
An undisputed right
Attempt it, and the Universe
Upon the opposite
Will concentrate its officers –
You cannot even die
But nature and mankind must pause
To pay you scrutiny –

“I’ve seen a Dying Eye”
by Emily Dickinson

I’ve seen a Dying Eye
Run round and round a Room –
In search of Something – as it seemed –
Then Cloudier become –
And then – obscure with Fog –
And then – be soldered down,
Without disclosing what it be
’Twere blessed to have seen –

“A throe upon the features –”
by Emily Dickinson

A throe upon the features –
A hurry in the breath –
An extasy of parting
Denominated “Death” –

An anguish at the mention
Which when to patience grown –
I’ve known permission given
To rejoin its own.

“The last Night that She lived”
by Emily Dickinson

The last Night that She lived
It was a Common Night
Except the Dying – this to Us
Made Nature different

We noticed smallest things –
Things overlooked before
By this great light upon our minds
Italicized – as t’were.

As We went out and in
Between Her final Room
And Rooms where Those to be alive
Tomorrow, were, a Blame

That others could exist
While She must finish quite
A Jealousy for Her arose
So nearly infinite –

We waited while She passed –
It was a narrow time –
Too jostled were Our Souls to speak
At length the notice came.

She mentioned, and forgot –
Then lightly as a Reed
Bent to the Water, struggled scarce –
Consented, and was dead –

And We – We placed the Hair –
And drew the Head erect –
And then an awful leisure was
Belief to regulate –

“She died – this was the way she died.”
by Emily Dickinson

She died – this was the way she died.
And when her breath was done
Took up her simple wardrobe
And started for the sun –
Her little figure at the gate
The Angels must have spied,
Since I could never find her
Upon the mortal side.

“The Bustle in a House”
by Emily Dickinson

The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon Earth –

The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –

“That Such have died enable Us”
by Emily Dickinson

That Such have died enable Us
The tranquiller to die –
That Such have lived,
Certificate for Immortality.

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4 Comments

  1. I hope you’re able to come back soon…

    These have reminded me of “I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died”…

    Reply
    • Thank you, my friend. I’m going to make a concerted effort to start posting regularly again, even if it’s just posting poetry/quotes by others, at least until I can get my writing groove back.

      I’ve been performing a daily ritual to help my grandmother’s soul cross over (utilizing a combination of Orphic texts and passages from the Tibetan Book of the Dead), but her “official” memorial unfortunately isn’t happening until August 7th (so that some family members who will then be on military leave can attend). I hope that said memorial (where I’ll be giving the eulogy), as well as a detailed private ritual I’ll be doing about a week beforehand, will help give me the closure I need to move on.

      I have *so much* I want to post about eventually . . . I’m just too physically exhausted, mentally scattered, and emotionally drained to do anything very constructive right now apart from my daily spiritual practice.

      I’m completely at peace with my grandmother’s death, but as several of the Emily Dickinson poems can perhaps convey, her actual *dying* was rather traumatic to witness for a host of reasons (if only the right to perish was an undisputed right, as Dickinson puts it). And of course I am immersed in the midst of grief over the loss of both a mentor and a mother-figure, the first person who introduced me to the gods and the myths, who sparked and kindled my love for ancient Greece, and who is perhaps the main reason I became the pagan polytheist poet I am today . . . it’s actually a bit staggering to contemplate her incredible influence on my life. Though I’ve been preparing for the inevitability of her death for quite a long time now (several years in fact), the whole process has been much more overwhelming than I ever could have expected. So I just have to get through this rough patch.

      Anyway, I’m sure that’s far more of a response than you were expecting, but I’m grateful to know that my posts have been appreciated and there’s at least one person out there who’s looking forward to the return of my regularly scheduled blogging. So thank you for that! I’ll see what I can do in the coming days . . .

      Reply
  2. Ah Dickinson ! Her complete works are also on my bedside table ! *sighs*

    I need to write you an email, it’s been week I’ve thought about it, but I’m running out of time and energy…

    See you soon

    Reply
    • I so adore Emily Dickinson – her work is so profound. And as I just said over on your blog, feel free to email me anytime!

      Reply

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