Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Grass so little has to do by Emily Dickinson

The Grass so little has to do –
A Sphere of simple Green – 
With only Butterflies to brood
And Bees to entertain – 
And stir all day to pretty Tunes
The Breezes fetch along – 
And hold the Sunshine in its lap
And bow to everything – 
And thread the Dews, all night, like Pearls – 
And make itself so fine
A Duchess were too common 
For such a noticing – 
And even when it dies – to pass
In Odors so divine – 
Like Lowly spices, lain to sleep – 
Or Spikenards, perishing – 
And then, in Sovereign Barns to dwell – 
And dream the Days away, 
The Grass so little has to do
I wish I were a Hay – 

Some thoughts…

on this Poem: The grass’s life of leisure is underscored by the allusion to the Duchess. The noblewoman may while away her time flirting with courtiers, dancing at balls, curtsying to her peers and betters, and decking herself with jewelry.  The grass enjoys the attentions of its winged admirers, swaying to the whims of the breeze, radiant with sunshine by day, adorned with dew by night. Even in its passing, it perfumes the barn as hay. Truly, the Duchess is ‘common’ by comparison.

When it comes to poems on Nature, Dickinson never disappoints. It takes an extraordinary mind to perceive the beauty in the seemingly mundane, to see in a blade of grass the macrocosm - ‘a sphere of simple green’.

Happy Earth Week – let’s take care of our planet, it’s the only one we have. 

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