Tomorrow begins the National/Global Poetry Writing Month—the day I look forward to all year long.
But today, we were offered an early-bird prompt based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson. The challenge was to write a response to one of her poems. I included the poem I used for inspiration below and also used a similar form and meter.
I hope you enjoy eavesdropping on my conversation with Emily.
Consulting summer’s clock, But half the hours remain. I ascertain it with a shock — I shall not look again. The second half of joy Is shorter than the first. The truth I do not dare to know I muffle with a jest.
—By Emily Dickinson
A Response to Emily
I stand with the poet, Stunned how steep the slope. Beauty as we know it Denies us all the hope. Shorter joy I refuse; The truth I choose to know. The hues of life ensconced in blue, and I in here and now.
The prompt for today is called “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. It could be a childhood neighbor’s workshop or a window looking into an alien spaceship. What do I see? What’s going on? The challenge was to write a poem describing what I see.
Too often I look at someone or some situation and think I know. In fact, the longer I peer into it, the more certain I become that I know exactly what is going on when actually I am looking through a distorted lens.
I cast no blame on the distorted lens, the truth is we all see through different levels of distortion. All we need to realize is that perhaps we will never be able to see perfectly clearly. And it is ok.
It is difficult to see through murky waters and walk away with clarity of vision.
You see the waters, they muck up our view and leave us wondering if our eyes can truly see.
What if our perception is really misperception? What if the slow-moving river holds terror in her depths?
It is difficult, you see, to see clearly through water refracting light— it bends before our eyes.
Our anamorphic view sees a glorious treasure hidden in the jade depths where crocodiles swim.