This is my week to share a favorite poem which wasn’t an easy task. I have so many. As I have stated numerous times the first poet I fell in love with was Edgar Allen Poe. His dark works spoke to the darkness in me and helped my find my voice to share the pain I had been hiding from abuse. I often read his work when I need inspiration.
Today I have chosen to step away from Poe’s influence and speak of Emily Dickinson. She was introverted and reclusive and that resonated with me when I was young. Many who know me or have known me through the years would never describe me that way, but the “me” I shared with the world was very different from the “me” I held inside. I was literally hiding in plain sight. I retreated in laughter to avoid having anyone discover the turmoil behind the grinning imp I portrayed.
Emily Norcross Dickinson, 1840 by O.A. Bullard
As a young child reading helped me escape the trauma I kept hidden. When I was lost in a book, the world was a much kinder and brighter place. Through words I found wings to fly beyond my circumstances as Emily’s poem so beautifully relates.
Part One: Life
He ate and drank the precious words,
his spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,
nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,
and this bequest of wings
was but a book. What liberty
a loosened spirit brings!