Friday, August 01, 2008

Poetry Friday - Dickinson

I may have been on vacation, but I sorely missed poetry Friday last week. My thoughts the last few days have been heavy with the realization that I have probably been to my childhood home for the last time. I thought quite a bit about this on the long drive back to Richmond today, and was reminded of this poem from Part One: Life of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson.

I years had been from home,
And now, before the door,
I dared not open, lest a face
I never saw before

Stare vacant into mine
And ask my business there.
My business,—just a life I left,
Was such still dwelling there?

I fumbled at my nerve,
I scanned the windows near;
The silence like an ocean rolled,
And broke against my ear.

I laughed a wooden laugh
That I could fear a door,
Who danger and the dead had faced,
But never quaked before.

I fitted to the latch
My hand, with trembling care,
Lest back the awful door should spring,
And leave me standing there.

I moved my fingers off
As cautiously as glass,
And held my ears, and like a thief
Fled gasping from the house.
The round up this week is being hosted by Jill at The Well Read Child. Do stop by and check out all the great pieces being shared. Happy poetry Friday, all!


  1. I missed PF too while I was away.

    And losing your childhood home is a big change, no matter how old you are. My parents sometimes talk about selling my childhood home and it still panics me at my advanced age...

  2. This time is coming for me...I dread it.

    Welcome back to one of your other "homes" -- the blogosphere and Poetry Friday. We missed you, too!

  3. This comes at me from another angle - living abroad,disagreeing with many American political ideologies, and realizing that I may never be "home" again, because once you know something about your home, it changes, and becomes possibly just a meaningless construct... *shudder* The second stanza really gave me chills:

    Stare vacant into mine
    And ask my business there.
    My business,—just a life I left,
    Was such still dwelling there?

    No. It's not. It's gone...

  4. Tricia,

    It's good to have you back blogging again.

    I understand how you must feel about your childhood home. After my maternal grandmother passed away, my mother and uncle kept her house--where they had grown up--for nearly ten years before they finally decided to sell it. Most of my happiest childhhod days were spent there. The house is no longer part of the family--but the wonderful memories of times we shared there are. I wrote many of those memories down in poems--some of which I've posted at my blog.