Sunday, December 3, 2017

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes –– 
I wonder if It weighs like Mine –– 
Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long ––
Or did it just begin –– 
I could not tell the Date of Mine ––
It feels so old a pain –– 

I wonder if it hurts to live –– 
And if They have to try –– 
And whether –– could They choose between –– 
It would not be –– to die –– 

I note that Some –– gone patient long –– 
At length, renew their smile ––  
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil –– 

I wonder if when Years have piled ––  
Some Thousands –– on the Harm ––  
That hurt them early –– such a lapse
Could give them any Balm –– 

Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve –– 
Enlightened to a larger Pain ––  
In Contrast with the Love –– 

The Grieved –– are many –– I am told –– 
There is the various Cause ––  
Death –– is but one ––  and comes but once –– 
And only nails the eyes –– 

There’s Grief of Want –– and grief of Cold  ––  
A sort they call “Despair” ––  
There’s Banishment from native Eyes ––
In sight of Native Air ––  

And though I may not guess the kind ––  
Correctly –– yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary ––  

To note the fashions –– of the Cross ––  
And how they’re mostly worn –– 
Still fascinated to presume
That Some –– are like my own ––

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)


  1. I’m Nobody –– who are you?
    Are you Nobody too?
    Don’t tell!
    They’d banish us, you know.

    How dreary to be Somebody!
    How public –– like a frog –-
    To tell your name the livelong day ––
    To an admiring bog!

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)


    I’m Dejected –– how are you?
    Are you Dejected too?
    Don’t tell!
    They’d never empathize, you know.

    How boring to be Normal!
    How like the Common Herd!
    To think and feel as others do ––
    Predictable –– mean –– absurd!

    ~ FT

    1. Someone should have told Wyndham Lewis that "Brevity is the soul of wit."

      Wndham, was indeed aptly named –– a decidedly WINDY sot of fellow.


      That is why I love Emily Dickinson so much. She often says more in six or eight succinct little lines than many of the great philosophers try to express in tomes of a thousand or more pages of turgid, tortured prose.

      Oddly enough, the poem of hers I chose to publish today happens to be one of the longest she ever penned –– by far.

  2. I reason, earth is short ––
    And anguish absolute ––
    And many hurt ––
    But what of that?

    I reason, we could die:
    The best vitality
    Cannot excel decay ––
    But what of that?

    I reason that in heaven
    Somehow, it will be even ––
    Some new equation given ––
    But what of that?

    Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  3. The Heart asks Pleasure first ––
    And then Excuse from Pain ––
    And then those ittle anodynes
    That deaden suffering.

    And then to go sleep ––
    And then –– if it should be ––
    Th Will of its Inquisitor ––
    The Liberty to die.

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

    1. This poem brought back memories of the final days of my mother, gone near 10 years and my father gone 1 year.

    2. I'm sorry if their lives ended in acute pain, Les.

      I'm afraid "we all come to a bad end" sooner or later.

      Only when was young did I ever consider death a preferable alternative to contiued existence. I'm most grateful to have learned how terribly wrong I was.

    3. Both were thankful for everything life sent their way. They both suffered in silence. I hope I am capable of their grace and understanding in my final days.

  4. We Can Never Go Back to Manderley Now

    Should I care if I get cancer
    In this wretched, troubled, world
    Where all seems swiftly headed towards the rocks?

    Since we live with devolution,
     Marred and poisoned with pollution
    Cancer gives us absolution,
     Since our kids don’t care enough to wear their socks.
    As towards The End we're whirling
    With flaming batons twirling,
    And last night's dinner hurling towards the rug

    And no one seems to notice
    As they take positions lotus
    To escape the awful bother,
    Despite demur from failing father,
    To remove the dreadful stench, at which they shrug

    And each, emaciated limb
    Grayish, pale, translucent, slim
    Flailing in St. Vitus' Dance
    Keeps death watchers in a trance
    As with dead, unseeing eyes they watch and long
    With fading final song for their ultimate demise
    I’d be grateful to have cancer
    It has given me an Answer
    In this wretched, troubled, world
    Where my life now lies unfurled
    Wherever I have travelled
    All behind me lies unravelled,
    And backward glances give me naught but shocks.
    As I see we’ve always headed towards the rocks.

    ~ FreeThinke

  5. "There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. One should sympathise with the colour, the beauty, the joy of life. The less said about life's sores the better."

    ~ Oscar Wilde - (1854-1900)

  6. Oscar Wilde wrote a manuscript, "De Profundis," that included his description of the pain he suffered as a result of his relationship with Lord Douglas. Perhaps Wilde wrote the above quote before his harrowing experiences in prison.

    1. I believe yiu are right. His "experience un prison" destroyed hum.

      "During his last year in prison, he wrote De Profundis (published posthumously in 1905), a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure.

      Upon his release, he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of 46.
      - WIKI



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