Sunday, February 26, 2006

Thank you, Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson, American poet living and writing in Amherst, Massachussetts between 1830 and 1886, had a dramatic way with her sometimes short verse. She is one of my favorite American poets. Thanks to where the full text of many selections of verse and other literature and dictionaries are available, though right now with incredibly annoying ads. Here is a short poem:

Emily Dickinson. Complete Poems. 1924.

Part One: Life


PAIN has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.


While this poem may seem rather morbid, it is a very exacting and precise observation of a true phenomenon. When a person is absorbed in pain, whether it is physical, mental or emotional, they really cannot process anything else. This is important to understand. If we read the news, interact with others, or even just deal with yourself with this insight in mind, it might make a difference in how we look at what is happening.

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