Snow remains in clumps and piles around town. Temperatures feels like summer. You might think Mother Nature is playing tricks because it’s so warm – about 50-degrees. It’s no secret that plenty of freezing weather will occur before we we say goodbye to winter.

A poem by Emily Dickinson, “”Secrets” is a daily word” wants me to know that no secrets exist – ever. No matter how often I speak or think the word – secret – it doesn’t exist.

“Secrets” is a daily word –
Yet does not exist —
Muffled — it remits surmise —
Murmured — it has ceased —
Dungeoned in the Human Breast
Doubtless secrets lie —
But that Grate inviolate —
Comes nor goes away
Nothing with a Tongue or Ear —
Secrets stapled there
Will emerge but once — and dumb —
To the Sepulchre —

Every one knows a secret is what no one knows but you. Right? But…

“Muffled — it remits surmise” If I muffle a secret, so as to conceal or protect it, like I might hide a love letter by putting it in an envelop, it would be like a pad to muffle the oarlocks with something to dull the sound if I sneaked out on a lake at dawn. A muffled secret means one that others can guess by the hints.

“Murmured — it has ceased —”. A whispered secret is made known as surely as if it were shouted, robbing it of its secrecy.

The secret that is, small or large, will remain “dungeoned in the Human Breast”. Existence of a thing means it “Comes (or) goes away”. If held, silent in the heart, unspoken, not heard, “Nothing with a Tongue or Ear — ” it doesn’t exist, according to the poem.

Perhaps this is why there is such a strong impulse to tell. If I have a big secret that makes me feel very bad or very good, it’s almost as if I don’t exist until someone else knows. 

Otherwise, I and my secret “will emerge but once (when I am dead) — and (everyone I know and love will be) dumb — / To the Sepulchre — ”, to the tomb, the relic I made of myself to the altar of the unknown.

Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way