Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Redux: The Hour of Lead

I first posted this Emily Dickinson poem on September 11 in 2008.  We were at a crossroads then, waiting to see if the upcoming election would change anything at all about all the things that needed changing.  Now, some things have, but not enough, and again we're waiting.  And still on this day - perhaps always - the formal feeling comes.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes --
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs
The stiff Heart questions, was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round --
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought --
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone --

This is the Hour of Lead --
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow --
First -- Chill -- then Stupor -- then the letting go --

- Emily Dickinson, #341

1 comment:

  1. A perfect poem and a perfect work of art. And it is my favorite piece of sculpture! Saint-Gaudens personification of mourning and loss at Clover Adam's grave in Rock Creek Cemetery. For those of you who have never stood in its presence, DO IT.