In the USA, I think leaders and the ones campaigning for more power are like me: not willing to deal with someone else’s harsh feelings, except to try to smooth them over.

A massive cultural mood change makes this quite a challenge. “Irrational exuberance”, like a fun-packed, sun-filled summer, has lapsed. Financial forces “Too imperceptible at last” were at work. Now we are at a stage that campaigners are telling us to regard “As Twilight long begun,”

As imperceptibly as Grief

The Summer lapsed away —

Too imperceptible at last

To seem like Perfidy —

A Quietness distilled

As Twilight long begun,

Or Nature spending with herself

Sequestered Afternoon  — 

The Dusk drew earlier in — 

The Morning foreign shone — 

A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,

As Guest, that would be gone — 

And thus, without a Wing

Or service of a Keel

Our Summer made her light escape

Into the Beautiful — 

The rhythms of this sonnet by Emily Dickinson move like the relentless change of seasons or a culture’s demands. Beneath an implied sensitivity to transitions the poem can be said to show how “A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,” creeps below the nation’s cognition of having fitted itself to enormous financial and leadership shifts. A “Quietness distilled,” will be evident, on election day.  

The leaders of the last decade, “As Guest, that would be gone — /And thus, without a Wing” of electoral support.

The “Summer” of our blind trust in government has “made her light escape”, at least until the next season of intense irony on a worldwide scale. For now, like all cherished things, it is most “Beautiful” in retrospect.

Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way

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