Saturday, May 25, 2024

The “Acres of Perhaps” in Emily Dickinson’s “Their Hight in Heaven comforts not”

After I came across the "grand peut-être" in the supposed last words of François Rabelais and recalled "the unshakeable PERHAPS" in "Brief Pause in the Organ Recital", by Tomas Tranströmer, in Robin Fulton's translation, I was struck today by another nominalization of "perhaps" in the poem "Their Hight in Heaven comforts not" (Fr725), by Emily Dickinson: "I cant see - // The House of Supposition - / The Glimmering Frontier that / Skirts the Acres of Perhaps". I searched my digital version of Dickinson's complete poems and scrolled through her many uses of "perhaps", but this genitive metaphor (parallel to the "House of Supposition") is her only nominalization of the word. (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 25 May 2024)

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