Celebration is becoming a cliche word. Today in America it’s a tradition. But, what if the desire to commemorate my most cherished gift is something I judge impossible to do publicly?   “I’ll clutch — and clutch — ” is a secret celebration.

The only understanding I have or know how to share today of this Emily Dickinson poem is of that private glee I experience sometimes when reading a poem that stirs my emotions.

I believe this poem is an ode to the poet’s own work; expressing private exhilaration over the poems and the self, the life she has made for herself by fulfilling her destiny.

I’ll clutch – and clutch –
Next – One – Might be the golden touch –
Could take it –
Diamonds -Wait –
I’m diving – just a little late –
But stars – go slow – for night –

I’ll string you – in fine necklace –
Tiaras – make – of some –
Wear you on Hem –
Loop up a Countess – with you –
Make – a Diadem – and mend my old One –
Count – Hoard – then lose –
And doubt that you are mine –
To have the joy of feeling it – again –

I’ll show you at the Court –
Bear you – for Ornament
Where Women breathe –
That every sigh – may lift you
Just as high – as I –

And – when I die –
In meek array – display you –
Still to show – how rich I go –
Lest Skies impeach a wealth so wonderful –
And banish me –

I imagine when I read the first stanza, the poet has been prevented by either family goings on or some other involvement from sitting down to write. “Diamonds — Wait — / I’m diving — just a little late — ”.

Speaking, as it were, to the poems, after first naming them Diamonds, “I’ll string you — in fine necklace — ”, is perhaps a reference to the little hand-sewn booklets of poems, fascicles, found by her sister, Lavinia, after the poet’s death.

The final two stanzas provide for me a kind of proof that the thing I sometimes think of as passion on a page, an intimate new knowledge, is “a wealth so wonderful”.

 

Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Come Your Way

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