Friday, April 24, 2015

Poetry: To Dickinson

So today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to rewrite an existing poem or reply in a sarcastic or biting manner to a poem. I wrote this yesterday in response to Emily Dickinson’s poem “She Rose to His Requirement.”

In a way, my poem is both an apology and a rub in the face, specifically the last line. I posted her poem below mine so you can see the subject matter. If you notice, Dickinson is being snide and patronizing to a friend or someone she knows who ‘sold out’ and got married…

Also, Jacket2.org has an excellent podcast called "Amplitude and awe" that looks at this poem in depth.
 
To Dickinson
By Brittany M.
 
I once was an Emily—
Just like you.
I once swore it all off
And never left home.
I loved instead obscurity
And relished dusty tomes.
 
But one day—
Everything changed.
I searched—
Desperate to be loved.
I sold out—
Yes, it’s true.
 
Alas—
Time caught up with me,
My clock never stopped—
I couldn’t slow my second hand.
But in my writing—
Nothing’s changed.

Emily—
I’m the lucky one.
I was born in a day and age
Where marriage is not an end.
Instead, I get to play with word—
Dally with phrase—
Even with a ring on my hand.

 

She Rose to His Requirement
By Emily Dickinson

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 —