Tag Archives: singing

I’m saying every day

I'm saying every dayI’m saying every day
“If I should be a Queen, tomorrow” —
I’d do this way —
And so I deck, a little,

If it be, I wake a Bourbon,
None on me, bend supercilious —
With “This was she —
Begged in the Market place —

Court is a stately place —
I’ve heard men say —
So I loop my apron, against the Majesty
With bright Pins of Buttercup —
That not too plain —
Rank — overtake me —

And perch my Tongue
On Twigs of singing — rather high —
But this, might be my brief Term
To qualify —

Put from my simple speech all plain word —
Take other accents, as such I heard
Though but for the Cricket — just,
And but for the Bee —
Not in all the Meadow —
One accost me —

Better to be ready —
Than did next morn
Meet me in Aragon —
My old Gown — on —

And the surprised Air
Rustics — wear —
Summoned — unexpectedly —
To Exeter —

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I shall keep singing!

I shall keep singing!I shall keep singing!
Birds will pass me
On their way to Yellower Climes —
Each — with a Robin’s expectation —
I — with my Redbreast —
And my Rhymes —

Late — when I take my place in summer —
But — I shall bring a fuller tune —
Vespers — are sweeter than Matins — Signor —
Morning — only the seed of Noon —

Distrustful of the Gentian —

Distrustful of the Gentian --Distrustful of the Gentian —
And just to turn away,
The fluttering of her fringes
Child my perfidy —
Weary for my ———-
I will singing go —
I shall not feel the sleet — then —
I shall not fear the snow.

Flees so the phantom meadow
Before the breathless Bee —
So bubble brooks in deserts
On Ears that dying lie —
Burn so the Evening Spires
To Eyes that Closing go —
Hangs so distant Heaven —
To a hand below.

The feet of people walking home

The feet of people walking homeThe feet of people walking home
With gayer sandals go —
The Crocus — til she rises
The Vassal of the snow —
The lips at Hallelujah
Long years of practise bore
Til bye and bye these Bargemen
Walked singing on the shore.

Pearls are the Diver’s farthings
Extorted from the Sea —
Pinions — the Seraph’s wagon
Pedestrian once — as we —
Night is the morning’s Canvas
Larceny — legacy —
Death, but our rapt attention
To Immortality.

My figures fail to tell me
How far the Village lies —
Whose peasants are the Angels —
Whose Cantons dot the skies —
My Classics veil their faces —
My faith that Dark adores —
Which from its solemn abbeys
Such ressurection pours.

From Beyond the Grave

Kurt Anderson’s Studio 360 rebroadcasts a 2006 piece on Emily Dickinson as part of the show’s American Icons series. Focusing on Dickinson’s The Chariot (a.k.a. “Because I could not stop for Death”), the piece highlights the strange and gnomic characteristics of Dickinson’s poetry, particularly as opposed to the loquacious style of the Fireside Poets.

Interviewed for the show was Belinda West, who portrays Dickinson (among others) for the Vermont Humanities Council, PBS and the History Channel. She wove Dickinson’s words about the perils of publication (“the auction of the Mind of Man”) and the pitfalls of fame into her responses in a natural, witty way.

The “common meter” peril–singing Dickinson to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” “Gilligan’s Island,” or any number of hymns–is, of course, brought up; but so is the wordplay and subtlety of the poems that Dickinson dressed in such homespun garb. (Or in gossamer gown and tulle tippet; Billy Collins has his say, too, with thoughts on taking off Emily Dickinson’s clothes.)


APRIL.An altered look about the hills;
A Tyrian light the village fills;
A wider sunrise in the dawn;
A deeper twilight on the lawn;
A print of a vermilion foot;
A purple finger on the slope;
A flippant fly upon the pane;
A spider at his trade again;
An added strut in chanticleer;
A flower expected everywhere;
An axe shrill singing in the woods;
Fern-odors on untravelled roads, —
All this, and more I cannot tell,
A furtive look you know as well,
And Nicodemus’ mystery
Receives its annual reply.

The official Daily Dickinson 2008 Calendar is available, featuring poems and pictures that have been featured on this site.