This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Saturday Rave: By The Sea by Emily Dickinson

It's summer here and people are flocking to the seaside. What will they find?

It all depends upon whether they are geniuses or not.

Here's a poem about a visit to the sea by Emily Dickinson. 

It has a much-quoted first line.

I started early, took my dog,
And visited the sea;
The mermaids in the basement 
Came out to look at me.

And frigates in the upper floor
Extended hempen hands,
Presuming me to be a mouse
Aground, upon the sands.

But no man moved me till the tide
Went past my simple shoe,
And past my apron and my belt,
And past my bodice too,

And made as he would eat me up
As wholly as the dew
Upon a dandelion's sleeve - 
And then I started too.

And he - he followed close behind;
I felt his silver heel
Upon my ankle, - then my shoes
Would overflow with pearl.

Until we met the solid town
No man he seemed to know;
And bowing with a mighty look
At me, the sea withdrew.

If the purpose of Art is to show you something you thought you knew, then these are valuable lines.

Now, some clever people may say the poem's about something else entirely.

But it doesn't have to be, does it?

Word To Use Today: sea. This is a word of the northern lands. The Old English form was .

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