Friday 2 November 2012

Poems I love (8)

I'm cheating a little here with more than one poem - it is more a 'poet I love'. The fabulous Emily Dickinson was a prolific poet; the website Famous Poets and Poems lists a catalogue of nearly 1,800 poems! As a teenager (and who didn't at some point flirt with poetry during that turbulent time of life) I was very much influenced by her style. Her poems are sometimes long and sometimes short; she has a very distinctive voice though. Here are two of my favourites.
My life closed twice before its close
My life closed twice before its close --
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me

So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.
Two crosses - "my life closed twice"
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you -- Nobody -- Too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise -- you know!

How dreary -- to be -- Somebody!
How public -- like a Frog --
To tell one's name -- the livelong June --
To an admiring Bog!
I went for the question rather than the frog!