Thursday, 14 April 2016

Emily Dickinson: "A narrow fellow in the grass"

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides —
You may have met Him — did you not
His notice sudden is —

The Grass divides as with a Comb —
A spotted shaft is seen —
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on —

He likes a Boggy Acre
A Floor too cool for Corn —
Yet when a Boy, and Barefoot —
I more than once at Noon,
Have passed, I thought, a Whip lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled, and was gone —

Several of Nature’s People
I know, and they know me —
I feel them for a transport
Of cordiality —

But never met this Fellow,
Attended, or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And Zero at the Bone —

Open to pretty much any nervy, solipsistic interpretation you like. I'm not sure if Dickinson's poetry contains a still-obscure animal poem: the snake and the fly are the most famous options.