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Transcendental Legacy in Literature

Selected "Transcendental" Poems of Emily Dickinson

J. 303, "The Soul Note Selects her own Society"

The Soul Note selects Note her own Society--
Then--shuts the Door Note--
To her divine Majority Note--
Present Note no more--

Unmoved Note--she notes the Chariots--pausing
At her low Gate Note--
Unmoved Note --an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat Note--

I've known Note her--from an ample nation Note--
Choose One Note--
Then--close the Valves Note of her attention--
Like Stone Note--

c. 1862 [1890]

Inner link Commentary on the poem by Robert Luscher

J. 306 Web Site

The Soul's Superior instants
Occur to Her -- alone --
When friend -- and Earth's occasion
Have infinite withdrawn --

Or She -- Herself -- ascended
To too remote a Height
For lower Recognition
Than Her Omnipotent --

This Mortal Abolition
Is seldom -- but as fair
As Apparition -- subject
To Autocratic Air --

Eternity's disclosure
To favorites -- a few --
Of the Colossal substance
Of Immortality

J. 321

Of all the Sounds despatched abroad,
There's not a Charge to me
Like that old measure in the Boughs --
That phraseless Melody --
The Wind does -- working like a Hand,
Whose fingers Comb the Sky --
Then quiver down -- with tufts of Tune --
Permitted Gods, and me --

Inheritance, it is, to us --
Beyond the Art to Earn --
Beyond the trait to take away
By Robber, since the Gain
Is gotten not of fingers --
And inner than the Bone --
Hid golden, for the whole of Days,
And even in the Urn,
I cannot vouch the merry Dust
Do not arise and play
In some odd fashion of its own,
Some quainter Holiday,
When Winds go round and round in Bands --
And thrum upon the door,
And Birds take places, overhead,
To bear them Orchestra.

I crave Him grace of Summer Boughs,
If such an Outcast be --
Who never heard that fleshless Chant --
Rise -- solemn -- on the Tree,
As if some Caravan of Sound
Off Deserts, in the Sky,
Had parted Rank,
Then knit, and swept --
In Seamless Company --

J. 324

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church --
I keep it, staying at Home --
With a Bobolink for a Chorister --
And an Orchard, for a Dome --

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice --
I just wear my Wings --
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton -- sings.

God preaches, a noted Clergyman --
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at least --
I'm going, all along.

J. 341

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.
c. 1862 (1929)

J. 355

'Tis Opposites -- entice --
Deformed Men -- ponder Grace --
Bright fires -- the Blanketless --
The Lost -- Day's face --

The Blind -- esteem it be
Enough Estate -- to see --
The Captive -- strangles new --
For deeming -- Beggars -- play --

To lack -- enamor Thee --
Tho' the Divinity --
Be only
Me --

J. 365

Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat?
Then crouch within the door --
Red -- is the Fire's common tint --
But when the vivid Ore
Has vanquished Flame's conditions,
It quivers from the Forge
Without a color, but the light
Of unanointed Blaze.
Least Village has its Blacksmith
Whose Anvil's even ring
Stands symbol for the finer Forge
That soundless tugs -- within --
Refining these impatient Ores
With Hammer, and with Blaze
Until the Designated Light
Repudiate the Forge --

J. 435

Much madness is divinest Sense--
To a discerning Eye---
Much Sense--the starkest Madness---
'Tis the Majority---
In this, as All, prevail---
Assent--and you are sane---
Demur--you're straightway dangerous---
And handled with a Chain--
c. 1862 (1890)

J. 448


This was a Poet--It is That
Distills amazing sense
From ordinary Meanings--
And Attar so immense

From the familiar species
That perished by the Door--
We wonder it was not Ourselves
Arrested it -- before --

Of Pictures, the Discloser --
The Poet -- it is He --
Entitles Us -- by Contrast --
To ceaseless Poverty --

Of portion -- so unconscious --
The Robbing -- could not harm --
Himself -- to Him -- a Fortune --
Exterior -- to Time --
c. 1862 (1929)

J. 449

I died for Beauty--but was scarce
Adjusted in the Tomb
When One who died for Truth, was lain
In an adjoining Room--

He questioned softly "Why I failed?"
"For Beauty," I replied--
"And I--for Truth--Themself are One--
We Brethren are," He said--

And so, as Kinsmen, met at Night--
We talked between the Rooms--
Until the Moss had reached our lips--
And covered up--our names--

c. 1862 (1980)

J 508

I'm ceded--I've stopped being Theirs--
The name They dropped upon my face
With water, in the country church
Is finished using, now,
And They can put it with my Dolls,
My childhood, and the string of spools,
I've finished threading--too--

Baptized, before, without the choice,
But this time, consciously, of Grace--
Unto supremest name--
Called to my Full--The Crescent dropped--
Existence's whole Arc, filled up
With one small Diadem

My second Rank--too small the first--
Crowned--Crowing--on my Father's breast--
A half unconscious Queen--
But this time--Adequate--Erect,
With Will to choose, or to reject,
And I choose, just a Crown--

c. 1862 (1890)

J 657

I dwell in Possibility--
A fairer House than Prose--
More numerous of Windows--
Superior--for Doors--

Of Chambers as the Cedars--
Impregnate of Eye--
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky--

Of Visitors--the fairest
For Occupation--This--
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise--

c. 1862 (1929)

J. 732

She rose to His Requirement--
Dropt the Playthings of Her life
To take the honorable Work
Of Woman, and of Wife--

If ought She missed in Her new Day,
Of Amplitude, or Awe--
Or first Prospective--
Or the Gold In using, wear away,

It lay unmentioned--as the Sea
Develop Pearl, and Weed,
But only to HImself--be known
The Fathoms they abide.

J. 271

A solemn thing--it was--I said--
A woman--white--to be--
And wear--if God should count me fit--
Her blameless mystery--

A halllowed thing--to drop a life
Into the purple well--
Too plummetless--that it return--

I pondered how the bliss would look--
And would it feel as big--
When I could take it in my hand--
As hovering--seen--through fog--

And then--the size of this "small" life--
The Sages--call it small--
Swelled--like Horizons--in my vest--
And I sneered--softly--"small"!

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