Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘apparition’

When I was small, a Woman died –
Today – her Only Boy
Went up from the Potomac –
His face all Victory 

To look at her – How slowly
The Seasons must have turned
Till Bullets clipt an Angle
And He passed quickly round – 

If pride shall be in Paradise –
Ourself cannot decide –
Of their imperial Conduct –
No person testified – 

But, proud in Apparition –
That Woman and her Boy
Pass back and forth, before my Brain
As even in the sky – 

I’m confident that Bravoes –
Perpetual break abroad
For Braveries, remote as this
In Scarlet Maryland –

 


————————————————————————-

Dickinson wrote of a mother who had died previously and left an only son who died in a battle on the Potomac River (stanza 1). To her, it must have seemed a long time before the bullet took his life (stanza 2).  Dickinson debated (stanza 3) whether it was right to have pride (which is sometimes sinful) in Paradise.  But as she considered, back and forth, the ghosts (Apparitions) of the two, she concluded that such bravoes (even there) for bravery in bloody (scarlet) Maryland were justified (stanza 4). The link below gives the specifics of a battle at Balls Bluff on the Potomac in October, 1861, as the time and place the “only boy” died.

https://books.google.com/books?id=53x2cyrkm8oC&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=scarlet+maryland+dickinson&source=bl&ots=vc5DhO3rMp&sig=ZaVvGauaxAIeo4FpM2jK5gttsog&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQ6tzG_KrKAhWGYyYKHRR5CsEQ6AEIKzAC#v=onepage&q=scarlet%20maryland%20dickinson&f=false

Read Full Post »

She was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment’s ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
Like Twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.

I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin-liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet
A Creature not too bright or good
For human nature’s daily food,
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

And now I see with eyes serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill,
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

Read Full Post »