Advent Themes (iv): two American poets on Heaven

by Kim on December 9, 2008

I went to Heaven -
‘Twas a small Town -
Lit - with a Ruby -
Lathed - with Down -

Stiller - than the fields
At the full Dew -
Beautiful - as Pictures -
No Man drew.
People - like the Moth -
Of Mechlin - frames -
Duties - of Gossamer -
And Eider - names -
Almost - contented -
I - could be -
‘Mong such unique
Society -

Emily Dickinson (1830-86)

We pray - to Heaven -
We prate - of Heaven -
Relate - when Neighbors die -
At what o’clock to Heaven - they fled -
Who saw them - Wherefore fly?

Is heaven a Place - a Sky - a Tree?
Location’s narrow way is for Ourselves -
Unto the Dead
There’s no geography -

But State - Endowal - Focus -
Where - Omnipresence - fly?

Emily Dickinson

The Wheel
for Robert Penn Warren

At the first strokes of the fiddle bow
the dancers rise from their seats.
The dance begins to shape itself
in the crowd, as couples join,
and couples join couples, their movement
together lightening their feet.
They move in the ancient circle
of the dance. The dance and the song
call each other into being. Soon
they are one - rapt in a single
rapture, so that even the night
has its clarity, and time
is the wheel that brings it round.
In this rapture the dead return.
Sorrow is gone from them.
They are light. They step
into the steps of the living
and turn with them in the dance
in the sweet enclosure
of the song, and timeless
is the wheel that brings it round.

Wendell Berry (1934- )

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }


Davey 12.10.08 at 5:19 am

Isn’t that bitter-sweet “almost” what we really desire anyway? That nagging and beautiful dissatisfaction…

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