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Emily Dickinson (1830-1886): Lesbian Poems


1.
Her breast is fit for pearls,
Bu t I was not a 'Diver' -
Her brow is fit for thrones
But I have not a crest.
Her heart is fit for home-
I - a Sparrow - build there
Sweet of twigs and twine
My perennial nest.
2.
Her sweet Weight on my Heart a Night
Had scarcely deigned to lie -
When, stirring, for Belief's delight,
My Bride had slipped away

If 'twas a Dream - made solid - just
The Heaven to confirm -
Or if Myself were dreamed of Her -
The power to presume -
With Him remain - who unto Me -
Gave - even as to All -
A Fiction superseding Faith -
By so much - as 'twas real
7.
Now I knew I lost her -
Not that she was gone-
But Remoteness travelled
On her Face and Tongue.
Alien, though adjoining
As a Foreign Race
Traversed she though pausing
Latitudeless Place

Elements Unaltered
Universe the same
But Love's transmigration
Somehow this had come

Henceforth to remember
Nature took the Day
I had paid so much for-
His is Penury
Not who toils for Freedom
Or for Family
But the Restitution
Of Idolatry.
8.
Frigid and sweet Her parting Face -
Frigid and fleet my Feet-
Alien and vain whatever Clime
Acrid whatever Fate.
Given to me without the Suit
Riches and Name and Realm-
Who was She to withold from me
Penury and Home?
9.
To see her is a Picture
To hear her is a Tune
To know her an Intemperance
As innocent as June
To know her not - Affliction -
To own her for a Friend
A warmth as near as if the Sun
Were shining in your Hand.




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© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 20 January 2021 [CV]