Poetry As Portal
I am using Emily Dickinson’s poetry as a portal, a catalyst into reflective and contemplative journey.* I’m not so much seeking to understand her meaning or intention ~ thus, not inclined to pick her poems apart word-by-word although there are times when I feel compelled to understand her ~ as I am seeking what her words mean to and evoke within me.
Thus far, I could go in myriad directions with every single poem—they are touching on all levels, whether through metaphor or reality. No one will ever decipher her essence of meaning in her poems, not for sure, because we cannot ask her for her truth that lies therein. We can impose our own perceptions upon them, but can we know her heart depths? Further, is it necessary to know what she intended? I don’t feel it is.
While I will be reading various texts about Emily from biography to critical discourse, and may post some of my thoughts about those perspectives, this is secondary for me. I would never presume to put myself above any of the learned scholars who have devoted themselves to studying Emily and her oeuvre. Mine is a contemplative approach to explore essence and intersection, to dive into the relationality between me, Emily’s poems, and the Divine Feminine. As such, my own writings from/about Emily’s poems may have nothing in common with interpretations put forth elsewhere.
Emily left a legacy of portals through which any of us can step to investigate ourselves, and, yes, play with her explorations of self … though a conclusion is optional.
Maybe this is part of why Emily’s poems sing to me—they are open-ended, open-souled mystery … as Emily says:
“I dwell in possibility”
* NOTE: The journey was begun April 13, 2014, and is a similar process as when I used the SoulCards. Further, wherever an entry says “Pre-Write,” that means that I wrote the entry in my journal prior to pulling a random Emily-poem, and it is, therefore, only the writing after the listed poem that used the poem as a portal. I often include the pre-write because the synchrony of pre-write to random poem is a curiosity.
Links of Interest Related to Emily Dickinson:
the prowling Bee (a relatively academic review of Emily’s poems; I often hop over to this bog after I’ve written my own reflection upon a specific poem)
Emily Dickinson Lexicon (to understand some of the words she chose to use in her poems)
Emily Dickinson’s Secret Language (an intriguing perspective, though one I lean away from)