My biggest reason to do this blog is to call attention to the mentoring value of poems by Emily Dickinson.  

Say what?  

I like to give people pretty things, too.  Sound self-congratulatory? Perhaps. But, believe me, I have more than enough shortcomings to make up for it. If you return to read here often, you will find your own evidence of them.

As techno-geeks have their language, politicians theirs, hockey moms, stock

I love techies, geeks, nerds

I love techies, geeks, nerds & their buzzwords

 brokers and career educators, theirs.  Finding yourself in a crowd of highly motivated Christian evangelicals or rabbis can be an eye-popping experience if you’re new to the lingo. Astronomers are as private in their choice of catch phrases as the more available astrology practitioners.  These language shortcuts are embedded in the emotional ties to concepts that form a person’s reality.  The less intelligible a pet phrase is to anyone outside the interest group, the more the privilege or burden, of communicating elsewhere when the time comes.  Depending on your level of skepticism, or desire to crack the code, you may, or, may not, pick up another’s communication style.

Protesters have their language.

Protesters have their own.

Dickinson’s poems are regarded in academia as ahead of their time, intellectually, and as a literary contribution.  This points to the genius of the poems’ author.  I am not qualified, either as a professional that practices literary criticism, or, as a philosopher to evaluate a given proposition.  There is, however, too much to be gained from familiarity with these poems to avoid reading them because of their language.  Even if you’re not inclined to “crack your head” on a difficult-to-understand poem, I invite you to share with me the habit of a few minutes each day to see what I and others have found so uniquely enriching.  

Emily Dickinson was an interest group all in herself.  Add to this exclusivity of experience the fact that she understood the underpinnings and enemies of honest talk more than perhaps anyone in history.  Nothing, however, kept her from practicing her habit of writing poems. The fact that she usually used words and ideas difficult for everyone else to understand may be no more than a challenge to readers to lose their own familiar language of refusal. 


Which conversation would you pick up on quickest?

Which conversation would you pick up on quickest?

In recognition of a common occurrence in a poem by Dickinson, I like to suggest a poem that contradicts what I have just said.

Here’s a poem that shows respect for anyone who refuses to look at their own truth.  It highlights a kind of protector role, if deemed important, by one’s physical body for its soul.


The Body grows without —

The more convenient way —

That if the Spirit — like to hide

Its Temple stands, alway,


Ajar — secure — inviting —

It never did betray

the Soul that asked its shelter

In solemn honesty

Digest a poem a day — Accept what comes your way