Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Miss Emily ...

... Her Own Society. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

I think this review - and probably Wineapple's book - misunderstands Dickinson's religious outlook, which I think has, at times, something in common with R.S. Thomas's.

1 comment:

  1. The review is generally better written than most I've read; but, your observation concerning a universal misunderstanding of Dickinson's religious outlook is keenly astute; it does, IMO, compare favourably with that of R. S. Thomas, particularly his later works, one of which, "Kneeling," I quote part of here to underscore what I believe you're suggesting; and, if I am wrong, feel free to correct me:

    Moments of great calm,
    Kneeling before an altar
    Of wood in a stone church
    In summer, waiting for the God
    To speak; the air a staircase
    For silence; the sun's light
    Ringing me, as though I acted
    A great role. And the audiences
    Still; all that close throng
    Of spirits waiting, as I,
    For the message.
               Prompt me, God;
    But not yet. When I speak,
    Though it be you who speak
    Through me, something is lost.
    The meaning is in the waiting.


    [*swoon*]

    ". . . The air a staircase / For Silence . . ."

    The meaning *is* in the waiting . . .

    p.s. I think "Discernment" has something in common with this "meaning, too (and, then, we're all a-Hopkins :))

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