Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wild Dashes--Hope is the thing: Emily Dickinson



Hope is the thing. The thing without letters. Without alphabet. A punctuation only, which speaks when there is nothing to say. When the mouth quiets and only breathes. What if Emily Dickinson retreated from language? What if there were no letters in her house?  I was thinking of a lipogrammatic Dickinson -- one where I erase E M I L Y D I C K I N S O N  from her poems. But then, all the letters went. Nothing but the punctuation. The hurly-burly of letters. Emily in the margins, the ditches, the stitching, away from the bustle. Dashes are a corpus callosum. And quotation marks are the soul, which is a feather, or the outside of a bird, or what is outside the bird, an unknowable inexplicable thing, a hope for hope, a silence louder than talk. Here is my Emily Dickinson, speaking without speaking. The juggler trapeze artist, the fascicle maker, the sewer of so, the intense silver of her needle-thought piercing, binding the dashing papers, the poems loaded but bullet-pointless, the letterless power of the breaths between, the synaptic synoptic leaps, the mad dash that is made sane.

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