Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In Which Emily Dickinson Faints


I dreamed a dream in sepia tones
From which I have just woken
While it lingers in my memory clear
Let me write now, or it be ne’er spoken.
I chanced along a humming street
In a fine and grand old city
When standing there I spied that poet
How elegant! And how pretty!
She spied me same and stepped across
Through the throngs she swept
She touched my sleeve said let us walk.
I was cheerful to accept.
We strolled the town and heard the buzz
Of shoppers as they passed
Some changes in the streets, Emily,
Since you were here the last.
By and by a frown descended
On Miss Emily’s gentle brow
I knew not the worry that caused such
Not the what, or why, or how.
She grew alarmed, and paler still
And clutched her collar tight
She looked for all the world to be
In midst of woeful fright.
What hell is this? She cried to me
What world? What language uttered?
Dead lie the words that I knew well!
At this her eyelids fluttered.
While trying to bring her from the faint
I listened for a spell
And perceived she may indeed be right
That language is not well.
All about me thundered this:
“I mean, it’s like, you know!
Ummm and ummm and yeah, like yeah,
Like no, you know, I dunno!
It’s so like, yeah and so like, duh,
So totally like whatever?”
I sought to rouse Miss Dickinson
And managed this endeavor.
She sat, and said Please let me leave,
I cannot one more minute
Conceive to shuffle through this world
Oh—why did I begin it!
Those are not words, and less than grunts
Language contaminated
This strange tongue and lazy mouth
Can never be translated.
So she left the same way she had come
Into the crowd did melt
I stood in all that baffling sound
My anguish—heartfelt.

And from my dream I woke a sweat
All true! All true! I sobbed.
I had not noticed my good friend Speech
Corrupted, torn and robbed.
If I can stop one mouth from mumbling
One tongue from rolling ‘like’
One lip from spilling ‘you know, nu uh’—
For Language I made a strike.



julochka said...

beautiful poem (i would have thought that even if i didn't know what was behind it). it's this that will help, so please keep it up!


Barb said...

Beautiful ... Barb

San said...

Wonderful words, T.E. As always.

You have an award over at my place...

Pauline said...

Not only our speech but our spelling is suffering. This is a marvelous ode to the mother tongue.

Maithri said...

Inspired words,

A deft and graceful hand moves your pen over the page,

May the lyric you write, dear poet, stir harmony in the mind and peace in the soul,

With love and thanks for this gem,


Pappy said...

The, How did I miss this one? Great poem. It's like, you know, the um, best, whatever, word rhymey thing, I've ever experienced. I hope all is well with you and the family. Please give my best to Mater. I hope all of you have the best Christmas ever. Pappy

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Julie, thank you. I need to take your advice :)

Barb, thanks.

San, I did pop over to your page and thank you for the award, although I have yet to display it :) I'm still unpacking from my trip.

Pauline, it is suffering, to the extent that in some cases bad spelling is now expected and anything else is considered odd.

Maithri, kind words- thanks so much. Praise is always welcomed :)

Texican, very nicely put indeed. Um. :)

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