Friday, October 21, 2016

The Soul selects the Winter Poem Swap

logo by Elena

Winter Poem Swap information follows today's poetry. "The Soul selects her own Society" is one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems. It resonated with me as a teen and stayed with me ever after. As you will see, Alicia Ostriker feels the same way!

The Soul selects her own Society (303)
by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886

The Soul selects her own Society —
Then — shuts the Door —
To her divine Majority —
Present no more —

Unmoved — she notes the Chariots — pausing —
At her low Gate —
Unmoved — an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat —

I’ve known her — from an ample nation —
Choose One —
Then — close the Valves of her attention —
Like Stone —


An Acrostic for Emily
by Alicia Ostriker

This is one of ED's smartest or wisest poems.
Her insight here tickles; it also encourages.
Even before I knew I was a poet,
Something was promising me that my choice, not
Only of whom but of what (beauty, art, poetry) to love would be valid; that however
Unclear most things were in my world,
Love would be clear and
Simple. And soulful. Don't you love the s's in that first line?
Ever notice there are four of them? And how they slow the line up? Then
Look how the next line snaps shut!
Emily reproduces, rhythmically, the careful intentionality of selection and its
Then she brings politics into it, but sideways. Divinely,
"Soul" outvotes all opposition. Majority rules. Soul as majority? How improbable!

read the rest here


I've shared this before, but it fits here so nicely:

Portrait of the Dickinson Children
by J.R. Solonche

Even if you did not already know, you would know.
It's the ten-year-old redhead on the left.
It's the one with her head on fire.
It's the one with the faraway look in her eyes.
It's the one with the open book and the rose in her hand.
It's the one with the one thousand seven hundred seventy-five secrets in her smile.


Now, about the Winter Poem Swap!

What is the swap? If you choose to participate, you will send an original poem and small gift by December 12, and you will receive one as well! To participate, send me your name, mailing address, and anything I should know, such as your allergies. If you would like to be paired for your swap (instead of potentially giving your poem to one person and receiving a poem from another), let me know. Drop me a line at tabatha (at) by Halloween.

You can find the Poetry Friday round-up at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Thanks, Tricia!


Doraine said...

Nice collection of Emily poems. Thanks for these.

jama said...

Thanks for the Emily fix. Clever acrostic!!

Tara said...

Bringing observation in sideways is an ED hallmark, isn't it?

Jone said...

Love these poems. The Soul is new to me.

Violet N. said...

Ostreiker's acrostic is a perfect pairing with the original. Nice!

Jane @ said...

Those poems complement each other wonderfully!

Anonymous said...

If I lived in America, I would love your poetry swap. Or rather, I would love to join in. But I can love it from Australia, by enjoying all that is passed between you. So enjoy!

Bridget Magee said...

Love the various shades of ED, especially Ostriker's acrostic. =)

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

That is lovely ED and ED fan poetry. Poets were the original fan fiction writers. :-) The winter poetry swap is tempting!

Carol Varsalona said...

Love Emily! Seemed to swamped right now so not sure if I can be involved in the Winter Poetry Swap (I would love to though).