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Monday, July 31, 2006
Some Emily Dickenson for our week
I keep a little volume of Emily Dickenson poems in my morning reading case. It's a prymer of sorts. I became interested in her through reading the story of a pastor who encouraged her to stay with her craft through the latter half of the nineteenth century. You can read more of that story in this short essay or via the link to the right called "On Poetry." More and more I am compelled to try and encourage young poets (or old ones). It's such a fragile craft and so few of them grace our landscape. They are a gift far too readily dismissed in our fiercely pragmatic age-- especially in the Church. And yet so often they are the ones who reveal to us Heaven in ordinary, to borrow a George Herbert phrase.

This one is #599

There is a pain--so uttter--
It swallows substance up--
Then covers the Abyss with Trance--
So Memory can step

Around--across--upon it
As one within a Swoon--
Goes safely--where an open eye--
Would drop Him--Bone by Bone.

Speaking of young poets. Check out the Piper at the Gates of Dawn. This is the young B.H. Swan, emerging poet laureate type of The Woodlands, Texas, who you infrequently see lodging a comment right her on FARMStrong. He spent the summer in North Carolina and has some fine verse to show for it.

One more excerpt from Dickenson--- this one from #130. It captures for me some of the essence of my now fast passing sabbatical.

Oh Sacrament of summer days
Oh Last Communion in the Haze--
Permit a child to join.
posted by John David Walt | at 7/31/2006 04:40:00 PM



Blogger gmw said...

nice JD--like these.

if you had an accompanying podcast, you could be like Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac, which is a great place for literary and historical tidbits as well as a daily poem. Reading poetry aloud well is an art in and of itself.

11:46 PM EDT  
Blogger JohnDeere said...

great idea Guy-- will check that out.

11:40 PM EDT  
Anonymous JP said...

Yes, yes, yes...it's time for the FARMstrong podcast...my iPod is ready and waiting!
Sacrament of summer days....that is so perfect!

10:48 AM EDT  

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