Emily Dickinson's famous love poetry is characterised by her unique individuality.
Any examination of Emily Dickinson's famous love poetry and literary career would reveal that hardly anything about her is commonplace or ordinary.
This statement is also true of her brand of famous love poetry. To one reviewer, she writes discouragingly of love. Focusing on it's parting, separation and loss, understandably as a result of her own life's experiences. Her relationships were of the pain of loss and separation variety. First with a Rev.Charles Wadsworth, whose calling did not dissuade her from a closeness with him perpetuated by correspondence over a long period of time.
He appealed to her we are told because of his powerful mind and deep emotions, and when, by 1861 he left the Eastern U.S. she was left emotionally scarred which reflected in three successive poetry she wrote thereafter.
Her second liaison was with Judge Otis P. Lord which came late in both their lives, (about 1878). They were never married, and his death in 1884 presaged hers as well:
"Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn
Indicative that suns go down;
The notice to the startled grass
That darkness is about to pass"
On the blows dealt her with her loves she said thus:
"Not with a club the heart is broken, nor with a stone;
A whip so small you could not see it, I've known"
These further selections of her famous love poetry starting with 'What If I Say' illustrate her outlook on 'cupid's bow', which many will categorize as gloomy and preoccupied with death's shadow:
What If I Say
What if I say I shall not wait?
What if I burst the fleshly gate
And pass, escaped, to thee?
What if I file this mortal off,
See where it hurt me, - that’s enough, -
And wade in liberty?
They cannot take me any more, -
Dungeons may call, and guns implore;
Unmeaning, now, to me
As laughter was an hour ago,
Or laces, or a traveling show,
Or Who died yesterday!
I Have No Life But This
I have no life but this,
To lead it here;
Nor any death, but lest
Dispelled from there;
Nor tie to earths to come,
Nor action new,
Except through this extent,
The Realm of You!
Hope is a Thing With Feathers
Hope is a thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings a tune without words
And never stops at all.
And sweetest, in the gale, is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That keeps so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea
Yet, never, in extremity
It ask a crumb of me.
I Never Lost As Much
I never lost as much but twice,
And that was in the sod.
Twice have I stood a beggar
Before the door of God!
Angels, twice descending,
Reimbursed my store.
Burglar, banker, father,
I am poor once more!
As you can see, there is certainly much more to Emily Dickinson's famous love poetry than meets the eye, or lends itself to easy interpretation!
In keeping with her predilections, here is another famous love poetry from Emily Dickinson:
You Left Me
by Emily Dickinson
You left me, sweet, two legacies, -
A legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had He the offer of;
You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
Your consciousness and me.
Emily Dickinson is without doubt one of the most gifted exponents of famous love poetry ever. She was well aware of the power of poetry on the reader or listener, which is capable of irrevocable change. When her muse visits, and...
"If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that it is poetry" She once explained to her sister-in-law.
Life and Death to her were companions, and she displayed an easy familiarity with both, that many would consider morbid, but for me this fearless fascination lingers...
"Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me-
The Carriage held but just Ourselves-
What glorious verse!
On life, she says:
"In this short life
That only lasts an hour,
How much, how little,
Is within our power!"
And as if to remind us that her spiritual awareness is transcendental, she posits thus on the hereafter with utter conviction:
"This world is not conclusion;
A sequel stands beyond,
Invisible, as music,
But positive as sound."
Her famous love poetry really was redolent with deep meaning and riddles which cannot but appeal to and fascinate those capable of deep thought, that far exceeds the ordinary:
"My life closed twice before its close-
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me
So huge so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell."
When she died in 1886, her sister-in-law, Susan Dickinson published an unsigned obituary that fittingly captured a life that used poetry to ennoble her environment.
In it we are told of her "exceptional endowments", and "the mesh of her soul" being too rare that only... "the sacred quiet of her own house proved the fit atmosphere for her worth and work. All that must be inviolate..."
"Her talk and her writings were like no one's else," and her much admired verses...
"A Damascus blade gleaming and glancing in the sun was her wit. Her swift poetic rapture was like the long glistening note of a bird one hears in the June woods at high noon, but can never see. Like a magician she caught the shadowy apparitions of her brain and tossed them in startling picturesqueness to her friends, who charmed with their simplicity and homeliness as well as profundity, fretted that she so easily made palpable the tantalizing fancies forever eluding their bungling, fettered grasp.
So intimate and passionate was her love of Nature, she seemed herself a part of the high March sky, the summer day and bird-call. Quick as the electric spark in her intuitions and analyses, she seized the kernal instantly, almost impatient of the fewest words, by which she must make her revelation.
To her life was rich, and all aglow with God and immortality. With no creed, no formulate faith, hardly knowing the names of dogmas, she walked this life with the gentleness and reverence of old saints, with the firm steps of martyrs who sing while they suffer."
Even her obituary was a labour of painstaking love, which could even qualify as famous love poetry in its own right!
Let us end fittingly with a final example of her famous love poetry. Indeed it seems that all she wrote, did in some sense reflect deep love poetry:
I Many Times Thought
I many times thought peace had come
When peace was far away,
As wrecked men deem they sight the land
When far at sea they stay.
And struggle slacker, but to prove,
As hopelessly as I,
That many the fictitious shores
Before the harbor lie.
And so, we end our page on Elizabeth Dickinson's famous love poetry.
Famous Love Poetry Examples 1
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