In the past, I’ve celebrated National Poetry month by posting a poem a day through the month of April. But over the last two years, I’ve found that posting schedule a bit too demanding for my current available time. Plus, I started to run out of poems I hadn’t already posted.
So here’s my plan for this year. Each week I’ll write up a little about why I love a favorite poet and then post a few of their poems that I especially like. We’ll see how it goes.
When I was young–maybe 11 or 12? my dad came back from a trip to the East Coast* and brought home presents for all of us. Mine was a little tiny pocket book of Emily Dickinson’s poetry–this one, to be exact. It was my first encounter with ‘grownup’ poetry. I didn’t understand most of it, but I loved it.
Incidentally, I’ve always been glad that my dad got me a version that has the poems with the original punctuation, rather than the edited versions.
I love Emily Dickinson for the vivid imagery, for the sheer beauty of the language. I love her for my twelve-year-old self, first discovering the glories of poetry. I don’t read her as often as I used to, and the poems that were once my favorites are not anymore. But as I was looking for poems to post here, I found some that I had never noticed before, because I wasn’t ready for them yet. And so I think I’ll always love Dickinson, and I’ll find that she has something different to say to me throughout my life.
“I taste a liquor never brewed”
I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!
Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling – thro’ endless summer days –
From inns of molten Blue –
When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door –
When Butterflies – renounce their “drams” –
I shall but drink the more!
Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats –
And Saints – to windows run –
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the – Sun!
* Note: I’m not sure why he was going to the East Coast without us. Maybe it was one of the times when we thought we were moving back to Maine?