Snowetry: Poetry about snow. Most often read and meditated on by people in southern parts of the United States that gaze longingly at leaden skies and wonder why they have freezing cold weather, cold rain, but
no very little snow.
by Emily Dickinson
I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town,
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down.
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig,
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshalled for a jig!
Emily Dickinson would have been sent to counseling in our day and time. A psychiatrist would have been assigned to her case. Perhaps even medication would have been prescribed. her behavior was abnormal, her social reactions bizarre, her interactions with other people unacceptable. Thankfully, she lived when she did and not now. Her life story is not a happy one. The saddest aspect is in regard to her personal rejection of Christianity. She was withdrawn, aloof, fearful of human contact, and alienated from others. She lived in tumultuous times, but never left comments upon the events that shook the nation (meaning that late War Between the States).
Miss Dickinson appeared fragile and delicate. The best known photograph of her portrays an homey kind of attractiveness and inquisitiveness. She appears to be a simple young lady, but don’t be fooled. She had the constitution of a boxer, or a warrior. Her weapon was a pen and her tactic was an economy of words. Her poems strike quickly and powerfully. The forms appear loose and dangling, but the content is usually quite tight and sharp.
“Snowflakes” is a good example of her work. Her poems didn’t actually have titles, and most collections list them by numbers. Beware of any editions of Ms. Dickinson’s work that has been edited by a punctuation conscious editor. Her own dashes and rhythms betray genius, not lack of attention. She writes with touches of humor and with depths of sorrow. Long before the Imagist school of poetry, she was creating unforgettable images. Almost not even noticed in her own day, she commands a center of attention in American poetry today.