poem index

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An Emily Dickinson Reader

Read about the life and poetry of one of America's iconic poets Emily Dickinson.

poem

In Emily Dickinson’s Bedroom

A chilly light pervades the empty room
bringing neither its current nor former inhabitant peace.
Rather, its immaterial lingering infests
both the air inside and what we see of the grass
outside—brittle, brown, as if it wanted to avoid the sun.
Inside, the visitor must be respectful
and polite, evasive without actually telling lies.
Everything here seems hidden—is hidden—not
just the bricked-up chimney and plastered-over doorway. Any
clue—under the wide floorboards, behind the blocked entrance—
to the haunted chambers of a heart? Patches of verse, of
old wallpaper, the main street not yet a street. What industry
motivated those uncanny dashes—these shadows
still eluding our meager efforts to scrutinize.

Lloyd Schwartz
2015
poem

Emily Dickinson to the Rescue

Standing in her house today all I could think of was whether she took a shit every
   morning

or ever fucked anybody
or ever fucked
herself

God's poet
singing herself to sleep

You want these sorts of things for people

Bodies and
the earth
and

the earth inside

Instead of white
nightgowns and terrifying
letters


*


Here she comes 
her hands out in front of her
like a child flying
above its bed
at night

Her ankles and wrists held tightly between the fingers of some brightly lit parent home
   from a party

Flying

Her spine
spinning

Singing     "Here I come!"

Her legs pumping
her heart 
out


*


Heaven is everywhere
but there's still
the world

The world is made out of cancer, house fires, and Brain Death, here in America

But I love the world

Emily Dickinson
to the rescue

I used to think we were made of bread
gentle work and
water

We're not
but we're still beautiful
killing each other as much as we can
beneath the pines

The pines that are somebody's 
masterpiece
Michael Dickman
2010