Overcome an irrational fear. Persevere to accomplish a dream others fail to value. 

“Nobody knows this little Rose — ”, by Emily Dickinson, recognizes unheralded accomplishment. More than the considerable reward of personal pleasure it bestows, the poem emphasizes sacrifice required.

Nobody knows this little Rose –
It might a pilgrim be
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.
Only a Bee will miss it –
Only a Butterfly,
Hastening from far journey –
On it’s breast to lie –
Only a Bird will wonder –
Only a Breeze will sigh –
Ah Little Rose – how easy
For such as thee to die!

The first time I rode a ferris wheel I was married with children. I don’t know how many rounds I went before I could manage to speak to myself. To hear: “Relax!”

More than an achievement of thought and rhythm to “lift up to thee”, the poem/Rose personifies the author’s experience. The poem and my success, or anyone’s contest between fear and desire, represents a multi-faceted span of life: “It might a pilgrim be”

“Did I not take it from the ways” of personal history rooted in incomprehensible impressions?

“Only a Bee”, sting of embarrassment, “Only a Butterfly”, standing alone while others enjoy what I fear “will miss it —”

I spent from mid-2006 to spring 2007 with books teaching poetry writing. I wrote three, out of maybe 100, that changed me. “Hastening from far journey — / On it’s breast to lie — ”: My self experienced a renewal in the aftermath of this self-defined end of an earlier life. 

Now that it’s a breeze to hop onto a ferris wheel with my grandson, I only gasp at his quick and easy grasp of a thrill I so lately adopted. Though I don’t regard myself as a poet, the year-long discipline of poetic form along with mining my emotions and perceptions made me sensitive to the practice.

All I had to do was die to the fears and taboos that limited enjoyment. Ah, poem.  Ah, thrill ride. “Ah Little Rose — how easy / For such as thee to die!”

Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way