My future is assured! Schedule a fitting for my crown!

There seems an equal measure of pain and beauty in “For this — accepted Breath —”, a poem in which Emily Dickinson uses the idea of death like a prop, useful, perhaps, but only to illuminate a life chosen, accepted with cognizance.  What bears up without wilting under death’s pervasiveness? A life of art, in general. Poetry, specifically. The poem infects me with positive feelings and sensitivity to the use of what is painful in life to illicit its opposite sensations.

For this – accepted Breath –
Through it – compete with Death –
The fellow cannot touch this Crown –
By it – my title take –
Ah, what a royal sake
To my necessity – stooped down!

No Wilderness – can be
Where this attendeth me –
No desert Noon –
No fear of frost to come
Haunt the perennial bloom –
But certain June!

Get Gabriel to tell – the royal syllable –
Get saints – with new – unsteady tongue –
To say what trance below
Most like their glory show –
Fittest the Crown!

I am struck by the similarity in tone between this poem and the new book review, “I am alive … I am beautiful … what else is there?” where it is said Susan Sontags journals reveal much about her anxieties and passions… more».  

Against the sweet talk of rendering “… Death — / The fellow ”, the poem’s anxieties and passions are acknowledged but powerless to prevent an approach to my life today that is lighthearted.

The poem lets me provide my own “this” and begs the question whether my “this” is royal enough “To my necessity — stoop down!”

I make an assumption when I say the poem’s “this” is art, or poetry. But, it doesn’t say. The important value is whether  No Wilderness — can be / Where this attendeth me — / No desert Noon — / No fear of frost to come”. (My underline.)

If life is “the perennial bloom —” the poem promises that this is its own praise, “But certain June!”.

I choose my advertiser.  Let’s see, I especially like “… saints — with new — unsteady tongue —”. I don’t want to be thought over-confident.


Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way