Ribbons, Bonnets, and Purple Stiles

I just wrote this great blog about autumn weather observations, but Blogger decided that it wasn’t to be posted. And now it’s gone – forever – or possibly to be reposted if I bother to remember and retype it all.

Thinking about leaves and clouds and all that did get me thinking about poetry though, particularly Emily Dickinson. As she is so renowned, it was pretty early on that I was introduced to her poetry. I think I have three different collections of her poetry – not because I am so especially fond of it, but because it is seen as such a foundation of women in poetry, or something like that – I’m not really sure why I got them other than I knew her name and figured she must, then, be a good poet.

Her poems tend to be a little on the flowery side for my taste. But it can’t be denied that she had great descriptive abilities and quite an eye for natural beauty.

I think one of the best compliments I have ever received about my poetry was related to Emily Dickinson. I think it went something like this, “Emily Dickinson has nothing on you.” It kinda blew my mind to hear that at the time. Now if I could ever live up to that..

There is one poem in particular by Emily Dickinson that I remember distinctly. I remember the first time I read it and I remember it striking me with its absolutely precise and absolute splendid description. I have a hard time reading poems that don’t interest me – including many other poems by dear Emily Dickinson – but this one I could read, this one I read over and over again in that one sitting, relishing not just the rich picture of her words but how delightfully they sounded. Just how perfect it was. Emily Dickinson was a visionary.

It definitely set a standard for me. It gave me something to strive for. And even if someone would be so kind as to say I’ve surpassed that – I know in my heart that I am nowhere near that and nowhere near where I want to be.

I’ll Tell You How the Sun Rose – Emily Dickinson

I’ll tell you how the sun rose,–
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.
The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”

But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while
Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.


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