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Emily saves

Posted by Simon Parke, 21 November 2017, 5.48pm

My poem of the week was once sent to me by a newspaper editor; and I’ve had it at my work desk ever since.

He was helping me become a better writer.

But the poem makes me a more wondering human too.

And less urgent.

It’s by Emily Dickinson, a reclusive New England poet in the 19th century.

She is lauded now, though not in her life.

I’m tempted to say her life was unusual; but then is there a usual life?

But with truth so brutalised, so black and white, so ‘Please love me, please notice me!’...well, Emily restores and guides me.

Tell all the truth

Tell all the truth but tell it slant,
Success in circuit lies,
Too bright for our infirm delight
The truth’s superb surprise;

As lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind,
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind.

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