Tuesday, January 24, 2012

After great pain a dismal feeling comes

Emily Dickinson:

After great pain a formal feeling comes--

The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;
The stiff Heart questions--was it He that bore?
And yesterday--or centuries before?
The feet, mechanical, go round
A wooden way
Of ground, or air, or ought,
Regardless grown,
A quartz contentment, like a stone.

This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow--
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.

1 comment:

TC said...

There lingers a haunting suspicion in these parts that the breakthrough into true greatness for poets who are merely good comes with that overwhelming rush of modesty that arrives in the moment these poets realize that normal people secretly consider all poets to be tremendous bores.

(Sometimes not so secretly, depending on manners and upbringing perhaps.)