Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Emily Dickinson's Computer

Computer was in the shop all weekend; still is. So I had idle moments. Let's download something different, I thought. So I took up the book of Emily Dickinson's poems, the one that's shabby, fingered, nicotine-stained.

Forget YouTube, virtual worlds, et al. . .this blew my circuits:

Like Brooms of Steel
The Snow and Wind
Had swept the Winter Street,
The House was hooked,
the Sun sent out
Faint Deputies of heat--
. . . .(1252)

Her poems -- her metaphors -- her capitalizations, even -- shocked me back to life. I'd forgotten -- I'd forgotten!*@!!&!! what life felt like, and looked like:

They called me to the Window, for
"'Twas Sunset" -- Some one said --
I only saw a Sapphire Farm--
And just a Single Herd--

of Opal Cattle--
. . . . (628)

I do need my computer. But it had encouraged me to settle for "cool" or "informative" or diverting mental "noise," -- no, no~! Mental comfort food! -- & that all that together is not worth one Emily Dickinson poem. Aftershocks went on the next morning in the form of a richer outlook, with sudden (get the pen!) ideas. . .

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