Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Blidget

My Life had stooda Loaded Gun
In Corners — till a Day
The Owner passed — identified —
And carried Me away —

And now We roam in Sovereign Woods —
And now We hunt the Doe —
And every time I speak for Him —
The Mountains straight reply —

And do I smile, such cordial light
Upon the Valley glow —
It is as a Vesuvian face
Has let its pleasure through —

And when at Night — Our good Day done —
I guard My Master's Head —
'Tis better than the Eider-Duck's
Deep Pillow — to have shared —

To foe of His — I'm deadly foe —
None stir the second time —
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye —
Or an emphatic Thumb —

Though I than He — may longer live
He longer must — than I —
For I have but the power — to kill
Without — the power to die —


For our 25th anniversary Brenda and I are staying at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon.

It’s a reader’s hotel. No TVs. No cell phones permitted. I suspect that even this laptop would be considered contraband.

Each room is decorated in a style of a particular author. We have stayed in Melville (slanted floor reminiscent of a ship's deck, great view!), Poe (pendulum swinging over bed, bricked up closet with a jester's tassle in mortar, stuffed raven, red and black touches throughout), Hemingway (Gulf of Mexico style white, stuffed trophies), Twain (19th century style, fireplace, balcony), Stevenson (handicap accessible room with maps of pirate coves and crutches in corner), and this time we are in the Emily Dickinson (simple 19th century furnishings).

This sweet recluse wrote beautiful poems that were not entirely appreciated until long, long after she passed away.

The poem above is one I enjoy.

If you look around the internet you might find many essays on it which posits surprising takes on it. Some argue that it is about the Civil War, or the love of a man and a woman, or of a woman and a woman.

Poetry is like that. It is like something someone might hand you, and you are suddenly unsure of how to even hold it. They might even offer you a brief explanation (“That there is a left-handed blidget.”), and you take their word for it, having never handled something like it before.

But for me, the poem above is an obvious reference to the Christian life.

First, like many of her poems, there is a clear indiciator of the spiritual element... it can be sung readily to the melody of “Amazing Grace." Go ahead... try it.


I believe our lives are without real purpose without the Creator in them. We are like a loaded gun... standing in the corner.

I love how Dickinson used punctuation, grammar, and especially capitalization.

Take a quick peek at which words are capitalized in this poem. They aren’t capitals because of the rules of English. They are capitalized because of their importance.

It just occurred to me that my habit of capitalizing the word “Him” in all my blogposts is because of a habit I may have picked up from her. I capitalize that pronoun to demonstrate how important I feel He is.

I am at His service. And in this world, God Himself has so arranged things that we, you and I, are His hands and feet. He has even decreed that His works will be done because we, you and I, pray. I am ready to “speak for Him” whenever He commands it.

I’m not going to over analyze this poem for several reasons. First, I feel I may have imposed upon you already, dear reader, in dragging you thus far into literary criticism when normally you visit just to check on how I am doing lately. But more importantly, I think poems, like most left-handed blidgets, is best understood by the person handling it, and not the person handing it.

So, back to snuggling with the wife... enjoying a little peace and quite on this weekend which marks half my life spent with someone I still dearly love.


Angel Feathers Tickle Me said...

Poised between counting one second and striking another, you have found me again in your dreams. There I dance like a blade of grass. Now I crouch under the weight of a single butterfly that has decided to grace me with her wings. Your dream explodes now. I stand in your dream, between you and all that is you, holding a mirror. Look at your reflection and gaze upon all that was meant to be. Do you remember the dream where you were caught by a tide in the instant of leaping, to hurl yourself into the sky. I caught you when you fell into the dreaming time. Now you too may become the shape of the grass. You may ride the winds of time. I give you the ability to turn like an owl and grasp at the day, to burn like a nighthawk, to whirr like the bee, to sing like the sea-eagle screaming out of the sky. The wind will take you dreaming.....

But You Must Shape Your Dreams To Fly

Angel Feathers Tickle Me

curious servant said...

Thanks for the blidget.

squirrel said...

I don't know Curious, maybe I should read it again because I could have swore she was talking about deer hunting!
BTW your wife looks adorable sitting there! I wish I was as photogenic!

Ame said...

beautiful! all of it!

~m2~ said...

love this, cs. love it :)

Jada's Gigi said...

I to love her use of Caps is interesting places...and agree that this poem is spiritual...God Bless you and your lovely wife on your anniversary...Hope it was wonderful!

Pamela said...

Happy 25th Anniversary! May you both enjoy many more blissful years together! Love the sound of the hotel you will be staying at in celebration. Good idea to leave the laptop at home anyway! lol Beautiful poem! Very interesting and thought your explaination regarding the punctuation! Have a wonderful time together! May God bless you both with health, happines and love in the years ahead! :)

Anonymous said...

Loved this post and wish you and your sweetheart a very good time together. Sounds like a great hotel! And I've admired Emily Dickinson for years.

God bless you, friend.

Anonymous said...

We stayed at a nice place in Cannon Beach circa '76. Nice fireplace and kitchen and a view of the beach (haystack rock?) .
Thanks for the memories. The poem is much appreciated. Thanks.


Jim said...

A nice post, Happy Anniversay. I may have wished that for you guys already.

I think your poem is about a dog whose real owner is no more.
No more because he/she died or no more because the poor dog was kidnapped.

That tells on me, I see and take things literally.

Anonymous said...

I love poetry. I love her poetry. I love this poem. I love everyone's interpretation. I can see all of them clearly. Noone really knows but her. My humble interpretation is a story told from the viewpoint of the shotgun. "The mountains straight reply" being the echo of the blast. "Smile, cordial light, glow, yellow eye"...mouth of the shotgun and flame from the gun powder, etc.

The end is most powerful to me. The shotgun can only kill, not die. The hope is man will indeed outlive the gun, for if not, man shall surely die by it.

Again, just my interpretation.

Have a great time on your anniversary Bro.

I left replies to both your comments on my last post.

Take care and be well.


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