Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The last Night that She Lived - Emily Dickinson

The last Night that She lived
It was a Common Night
Except the Dying – this to Us
Made Nature different

We noticed smallest things –
Things overlooked before
By this great light upon our Minds
Italicized – as ‘twere.

As we went out and in
Between her final Room
And Rooms where Those to be alive
Tomorrow were, a Blame

That others could exist
While she must finish quite
A Jealousy for Her arose
So nearly infinite –

We waited while She passed –
It was a narrow time –
Too jostled were Our Souls to speak
At length the notice came.

She mentioned, and forgot –
Then lightly as a Reed
Bend to the water, struggled scarce –
Consented, and was dead –

And We – We placed her Hair –
And drew the Head erect –
And then an awful leisure was
Belief to regulate –

Emily Dickinson

Comments …

Life going on as normal or common in comparison … this one thing now stands out to make life different … pending death and the process of dying reaching a climax… something unfamiliar to the speaker

Implies a slowing down … and because of the intense focus there is now time to observe … little things unnoticed … the mind working hard illuminated by this energy … and at the same time caught noticing little insignificant things … (which of course may be remembered in association for many years) ... like words falling over (italics) ... seen differently

The in and out between the room of the dying … and the rooms of the living … the contrast with life and death … the blame that others will be living tomorrow brings such intense jealousy for death which is about to capture her … showing how much the person means to the living … or is needed by the living

A narrow time … total tunnel finish focus … no thoughts elsewhere …souls in turmoil … near death … the situation inhibiting conversation

Then the notice came (perhaps for those waiting outside) … the final moments and the last light (scarce) struggle with something wanted to be said and then left … and the inevitable consent

The physical things that needed to be done … and then time broadens into awful leisure in which the living must rely on their belief (religion) to regulate their loss

A moving poem perhaps written from personal experience from one close to her.

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