”We grow accustomed to the Dark” a poem by Emily Dickinson

IN these chanting lines Emily take us on a journey through night and darkness. Perhaps you, the reader only see difficulties and obstacles? We are in darkness here, but can it change for the better?

Notice what else is present! A brain! We’re literal inside our heads here. Our thoughts play around and sometimes decieve us. Look at the dichtomy too! Darkness and light, the opposites. Hope lingers too. Pay attention to the 8 final lines.

We grow accustomed to the Dark – 
When light is put away – 
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp 
To witness her Goodbye – 

A Moment – We uncertain step 
For newness of the night – 
Then – fit our Vision to the Dark – 
And meet the Road – erect – 

And so of larger – Darknesses – 
Those Evenings of the Brain – 
When not a Moon disclose a sign – 
Or Star – come out – within – 

The Bravest – grope a little – 
And sometimes hit a Tree 
Directly in the Forehead – 
But as they learn to see – 

Either the Darkness alters – 
Or something in the sight 
Adjusts itself to Midnight – 
And Life steps almost straight.

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“Away” a Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916) was an American poet and writer. In this poem he confronts death and the experience of loosing a beloved friend. As you read it you also understand the feeling of loss and the narrator’s painful experience dealing with a friend’s death. Let the title speak for itself. He’s not dead but away.

Bildresultat för away whitcomb riley

Away

I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead- . He is just away!

With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand
He has wandered into an unknown land,

And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.

And you- O you, who the wildest yearn
For the old-time step and the glad return- ,

Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here;

And loyal still, as he gave the blows
Of his warrior-strength to his country’s foes- .

Mild and gentle, as he was brave- ,
When the sweetest love of his life he gave

To simple things- : Where the violets grew
Blue as the eyes they were likened to,

The touches of his hands have strayed
As reverently as his lips have prayed:

When the little brown thrush that harshly chirred
Was dear to him as the mocking-bird;

And he pitied as much as a man in pain
A writhing honey-bee wet with rain- .

Think of him still as the same, I say:
He is not dead- he is just away!

“A Dream Within A Dream” – By Edgar Allan Poe

This poem is one of Poe’s most wellknown and beloved poems. It’s often quoted and listed in various anthologies. The poem was published in March 1849 by the Bostonmagazine The Flag of Our Union and consists of two stanzas. The story is told by a first person narrator and address his lover.

A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow–

You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

———

I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand–

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep–while I weep!

O God! can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp?

O God! can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?

Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?

Sources

wikipedia.org

“The Good-Morrow” – A poem by John Donne

The british poet John Donne (1572-1631) was one the most well known poets of the Elizabetan age. He was also a part of the the Metaphysical school of English poets. This poem takes place in the married bed. Husband and wife are awake after a night of sleep and love. Donnes message is a bit deeper than just the physical love between the married couple.

Look what is happening in the second Stanza. It starts with the line “And now good-morrow to our waking souls”…John Donne simply states that love is more than our physical bodies. We are souls as well. Pay some attention to the religious references: The story of the Seven Sleepers is present. Which function does it play here?

Themes: Love, the beloved, waking up in the morning

The Good-Morrow

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I

Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?

But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?

Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?

’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.

If ever any beauty I did see,

Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,

Which watch not one another out of fear;

For love, all love of other sights controls,

And makes one little room an everywhere.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,

Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,

Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,

And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;

Where can we find two better hemispheres,

Without sharp north, without declining west?

Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;

If our two loves be one, or, thou and I

Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.

“Hope is a thing with feathers” — A poem by Emily Dickinson

Gently and softspoken, Emily Dickinson expresses her thoughts about hope and compares it to “the thing” with feathers. Notice how careful she is with the words. How does she describe hope? It’s more like a tune which can’t be seen. What does the narrator reveal about the tune? Where can it be heard?

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the 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 kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

“Love’s Philosophy” — A poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Here are a few lines of encouraging thoughts about love. The poet is Percy B. Shelley (4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822) who lived in the era of Romanticism. Look how he uses the theme of Nature in these few lines. The message of love, unity and comradeship can be found in the following verse: “Nothing in the world is single; All things by a law divine In one spirit meet and mingle. Why not I with thine?—”

The poem was first published by the newspaper The Indicator (1819) and in 1824 two years after Shelley’s drowning accident.

Love’s Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;

All things by a law divine

In one spirit meet and mingle.

Why not I with thine?—

.

See the mountains kiss high heaven

And the waves clasp one another;

No sister-flower would be forgiven

If it disdained its brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth

And the moonbeams kiss the sea:

What is all this sweet work worth

If thou kiss not me?

“Invictus” a poem by William Ernest Henley

This is a poem to all of you who feel low and suffering from a poor self esteem and illness. But even if pain is present there is hope. The poet is W.E Henley (1849-1903) and he was in the hospital having his leg amputated as these lines came to him. It’s about the human spirit overcoming the deepest of pain and inner troubles. It ends with the following promising lines: “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.