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Yesterday's poem was The Sea Has Its Pearls by Heinrich Heine, which I translated from the original German. With all its talk of the sea and the sky, I must confess that the poem I first thought to follow it with love is more thicker than forget by E.E. Cummings, which picks up on the idea of big love, and references, in its final stanza, the sky:

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

But alas, the poem is still under copyright, and I promised you works from the public domain for this month, so I spent more time looking at the poem. And I realized that what attracted me to the poem in the first place is the pair of lines that absolutely slay me: "But my heart, my heart,/my heart has its love." It's the repetition of the word heart that really speaks to me. And so it was, that I ended up selecting another Emily Dickinson poem, even though I shared another of her poems just the other day. It's because of the repetition of heart, you see.

It's All I Have to Bring Today
by Emily Dickinson

It's all I have to bring today –
This, and my heart beside –
This, and my heart, and all the fields –
And all the meadows wide –
Be sure you count – should I forget
Some one the sum could tell –
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.

I think no real commentary and analysis is needed for this particular poem. She's bringing herself, and her heart, and all of nature that surrounds her (or her love of it, which was tremendous). I've seen some analysis that insists that her use of "bring" and "count" are an oblique reference to the parable of the talents from the book of Matthew. While I'm not certain that's correct, were that the case, it would appear that Dickinson is trying to show that she has been a good steward and maximized her "talents".

Like most of her poems it is in hymn metre (8-6-8-6), with a rhyme scheme of XAXAXBXB (where X represents unrhymed lines).

Here's a directory to my National Poetry Month posts thus far, should you be wanting a Table of Contents:

1. The Oven Bird by Robert Frost
2. A Child Said, What Is the Grass? from Song of Myself by Walt Whitman
3. The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats
4. Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
5. Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare
6. To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick
7. Crossing the Bar by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
8. Sea-Fever by John Masefield
9. The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls by Henry Wadworth Longfellow
10. The Sea Has Its Pearls by Heinrich Heine

Bonus poem: Who Has Seen the Wind? by Christina Rossetti

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( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 12th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
And of course...
There's some of us who just HEART, HEART, HEART Emily!


and the e.e. as well.....

It has become pretty clear to me, when I need poems to find places in my art and art to find places in poems, it's all I have to do but bring myself to your blog!
Apr. 12th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Re: And of course...
What a lovely compliment. Thanks, Kevin!
Apr. 12th, 2009 06:25 am (UTC)
I'm really enjoying the way you are pulling out these single poems for us. I have Emily on my shelves but when I pull it out to read on my own I have trouble getting into it. It is like opening a bag of candy and not knowing where to start. These bite-sized pieces make it easier for me to say yes and no and I need more of that. So thank you.

I really like this one.
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
I understand your point with Emily. Opening a collection of her poems is like opening a bag of precious gems . . . with all of them perfect and sparkling, none of them is truly dazzling unless you lift it away from the others and take a moment to appreciate it on its own. Or so I'm finding when it comes to her work.
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Apr. 12th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
I'd forgotten about the paddle game, but remembered the Thermos. I just quoted the Thermos song for Melodye, in fact.

I have to say that Emily's sentiment comes from a different place . . . these are things she's bringing as a gift to someone else, whereas Steve Martin was salvaging a few things to comfort him on his way.
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Apr. 12th, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
Some of the hardest laughter I've ever engaged in has been in church, because it's just so . . . inappropriate, and that makes it funnier still.

No worries. I liked your lowbrow reference!
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC)
Gosh, I love that movie. And the things he needs . . . including that Thermos, about which he wrote that song, "I'm picking out a Thermos for you/ not an ordinary Thermos for you/ but a Thermos with stripes and a built-in cup/ and a rear-end thermometer too."
Apr. 12th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
Perfect for today! Thank you!
Apr. 12th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you think so!
Apr. 13th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
This one is beautiful. I have to go copy it down now.
Apr. 13th, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
It's loverly, isn't it?
Apr. 13th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
I've just read your entire Poetry Month string of pearls to date. What a unique and wonderful (and, as always, well-executed) idea! I can't wait to see where your wanderings and linkings take you next!
Apr. 13th, 2009 01:00 am (UTC)
I know what's on for tomorrow, but after that is still a mystery to me. (The furthest I've known in advance was two days . . . once I'd selected "Crossing the Bar", I knew I'd do "Sea-Fever" and "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls", but that was it. It's keeping me on my toes!
Apr. 13th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
I love, love, love Emily Dickinson and that poem!Thanks for the sweet and true post:)
Apr. 14th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
You are most welcome.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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