Monday, March 18, 2024

A curse and “a mighty gun” in two Emily Dickinson’s poems

In preparation for my Emily Dickinson seminar this fall, I've begun rereading R. W. Franklin's "The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition". At 10 poems a day, I'll be ready for the beginning of the term in mid-September. As always with Dickinson, I keep noticing things I hadn't noticed before in her work, such as the curse that ends "I had a guinea golden" (Fr12): "And he no consolation / Beneath the sun may find." I was also struck by the eerily twenty-first-century violence that ends "My friend attacks my friend!" (Fr103): "Had I a mighty gun / I think I'd shoot the human race / And then to glory run!" (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 18 March 2024)

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