I can’t imagine a more perfect verbal image of how it feels to be outside looking in – as a state of mind – than Emily Dickinson’s “I had been hungry, all the Years – ”.

If, and it’s a very big “if”, “My Noon had Come – to dine -” also recalls a state of mind, I am reminded of those times in almost everyone’s life when old habits and beliefs seem weaker than before. New hope may rise in an area of life that we thought we had closed. Either by choice or childhood prejudices.

Maybe it’s a midlife crisis when nothing of normality satisfies and we reach for “the Table” and its “curious wine”. We risk everything for the chance that life will take on renewed meaning.

I had been hungry, all the Years –
My Noon had Come – to dine –
I trembling drew the Table near –
And touched the Curious Wine –

‘Twas this on Tables I had seen –
When turning, hungry, Home
I looked in Windows, for the Wealth
I could not hope – for Mine –

I did not know the ample Bread –
‘Twas so unlike the Crumb
The Birds and I, had often shared
In Nature’s – Dining Room –

The Plenty hurt me — ’twas so new —
Myself felt ill – and odd –
As Berry – of a Mountain Bush –
Transplanted – to a Road –

Nor was I hungry – so I found
That Hunger – was a way
Of Persons outside Windows –
The Entering – takes away

The poem ends with one of Dickinson’s characteristic preferences. Inaccessible people, places and things have their own magic. And, the eternal quest of mere mortals is to find a balance between real and imagined.

Digest A Poem A Day – Accept What Comes Your Way

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