One Year Ago—jots What? Poem by Emily Dickinson

One Year Ago—jots What?

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One Year ago—jots what?
God—spell the word! I—can't—
Was't Grace? Not that—
Was't Glory? That—will do—
Spell slower—Glory—

Such Anniversary shall be—
Sometimes—not often—in Eternity—
When farther Parted, than the Common Woe—
Look—feed upon each other's faces—so—
In doubtful meal, if it be possible
Their Banquet's true—

I tasted—careless—then—
I did not know the Wine
Came once a World—Did you?
Oh, had you told me so—
This Thirst would blister—easier—now—
You said it hurt you—most—
Mine—was an Acorn's Breast—
And could not know how fondness grew
In Shaggier Vest—
Perhaps—I couldn't—
But, had you looked in—
A Giant—eye to eye with you, had been—
No Acorn—then—

So—Twelve months ago—
We breathed—
Then dropped the Air—
Which bore it best?
Was this—the patientest—
Because it was a Child, you know—
And could not value—Air?

If to be "Elder"—mean most pain—
I'm old enough, today, I'm certain—then—
As old as thee—how soon?
One—Birthday more—or Ten?
Let me—choose!
Ah, Sir, None!

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
John Richter 13 May 2015

Emily was such an intensely beautiful loving soul. I can not read this poem about the anniversary of her father's passing without crying... I suppose as she neared the age that he was at death - that she was inspired to write this poem about her love for him that never dwindled and her grief that didn't either... The completely surreal thing is that I did the exact same thing with my mother's passing, who I have now outlived her age by four years. And I suppose I will do the same with my father's death anniversary - though I've still many years to go to reach his age.... Where ever you are Emily, I love you...

11 1 Reply
Kim Barney 31 December 2015

John Richter said it all. I could have said everything he said, though I have outlived my mother by many more years than four. I, too, love Emily Dickinson. And thanks, John, for explaining why she wrote this poem.

6 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 31 December 2015

A touching marvelous poem, penned by a master spirit. Thanks for sharing.

2 1 Reply
Andesikuteb Peter Yamusa 31 December 2015

Wow..great poem..happy new year

0 0 Reply
Manonton Dalan 31 December 2015

nice poem for the season //////

0 0 Reply
Susan Williams 31 December 2015

The first stanza took me straight into a maelstrom. What in the world is happening here? - was my first thought. The punctuation was weird. But it forced me to slow down. Then I find that the thoughts she expresses are really erratic ones. She's stumbling for words: jots what? , ” “I—can’t, ” “Not that, ” “will do.” This stop and go mimics the author's frame of mind. Then she uses the last line of the stanza to make me focus on “Spell slower—Glory.” Huh? Well, the first word of that line, “Spell, ” has two meanings: one being “enchantment” and the other being “speak it out” or “recite it slowly.” Okay. Dickinson is going to make me work at getting into this poem.

27 0 Reply
Ramesh T A 31 December 2015

New life, dreams, love and world Ever open to you my dear friends! World will be everyone's home and Years of saddest pursuits will be fulfilled! Energy level of all will increase soon and All will come together to do best for all! Right attitude will keep all right ever! Success will be sure to all from now on...!

3 0 Reply
Gangadharan Nair Pulingat 31 December 2015

Very emotional and beautiful narration of the precious life that expresses by the great poet and a good poem.

3 0 Reply
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Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

Amherst / Massachusetts
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