American Poetry, Poetry

Behind Me – dips Eternity – Emily Dickinson

The term between eternity and immortality – our lives – is the subject of Emily Dickinson’s poem number 721. It’s a gentle vision of life melting and disappearing into a drift and the being itself a ‘miracle’ as she refers to it in the last verse. She also uses the image of the moon reflected in the water surrounded by darkness, a cool image of eternal wisdom.

 

#721

Behind Me – dips Eternity –
Before Me – Immortality –
Myself – the Term between –
Death but the Drift of Eastern Gray,
Dissolving into Dawn away,
Before the West begin –

‘Tis Kingdoms – afterward – they say –
In perfect – pauseless Monarchy –
Whose Prince – is Son of None –
Himself – His Dateless Dynasty –
Himself – Himself diversify –
In Duplicate divine –

‘Tis Miracle before Me – then –
‘Tis Miracle behind – between –
A Crescent in the Sea –
With Midnight to the North of Her –
And Midnight to the South of Her –
And Maelstrom – in the Sky –

 

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
From: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

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