13 December 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 4

One Year ago—jots what?

One Year ago—jots what?

God—spell the word! I—can't—

Was't Grace? Not that—

Was't Glory? That—will do—

Spell slower—Glory—

Such Anniversary shall be—

Sometimes—not often—in Eternity—

When farther Parted, than the Common Woe—

Look—feed upon each other's faces—so—

In doubtful meal, if it be possible

Their Banquet's true—

I tasted—careless—then—

I did not know the Wine

Came once a World—Did you?

Oh, had you told me so—

This Thirst would blister—easier—now—

You said it hurt you—most—

Mine—was an Acorn's Breast—

And could not know how fondness grew

In Shaggier Vest—

Perhaps—I couldn't—

But, had you looked in—

A Giant—eye to eye with you, had been—

No Acorn—then—

So—Twelve months ago—

We breathed—

Then dropped the Air—

Which bore it best?

Was this—the patientest—

Because it was a Child, you know—

And could not value—Air?

If to be "Elder"—mean most pain—

I'm old enough, today, I'm certain—then—

As old as thee—how soon?

One—Birthday more—or Ten?

Let me—choose!

Ah, Sir, None!

About the author:

1830-86. Dickinson lived her life in Amherst, Massachusetts, becoming, as she's famously known now, progressively reclusive. After her death, her sister discovered over 1000 poems in her bureau.

In 1862, Thomas Higginson, a well-known literary critic, published "Letter to a Young Contributor" in the Atlantic Monthly. Dickinson wrote to Higginson, asking if her "Verse is alive." She included four poems: "Safe in their Alabaster Chambers," "The nearest Dream recedes unrealized," "We play at Paste," and "I'll tell you how the Sun rose."

Learn more about Emily Dickinson at Wikipedia.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Emily Dickinson at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 4, where "One Year ago—jots what?" ran on December 13, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry, classic.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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