Poetry: Renunciation


There came a day – at Summer’s full –
Entirely for me –
I thought that such were for the Saints –
And Where Resurrections – be –
The sun – as common as it is – went abroad –
The flowers – accustomed – blew,
As if no soul – saw that solstice passed –
Which maketh all things – new –
The time was scarce profaned  by speech –
The falling of a word
Was needless  as at the Sacrament –
The _Wardrobe_ – of our Lord!
Each was to each – the sealed church –
Permitted to commune –  _this_ time –
Lest we too awkward show
At Supper of “the Lamb.”
The hours slid fast – as hours will –
Clutched tight – by greedy hands –
So – faces on two Decks look back –
Bound to _opposing_ lands.
And so, when all the time had leaked,
Without external sound,
Each bound the other’s Crucifix –
We gave no other bond –
Sufficient troth – that we shall _rise_,
Deposed – at length the Grave –
To that new marriage –
_Justified_ – through Calvaries – of Love!

This poem Renunciation by Emily Dickinson describes a mood of calmness and tranquility and it symbolically refers to Christ’s death. but what fools the eye is that Miss Dickinson uses  summer for his repose and not the traditional spring,  Perhaps because summer is a more listless and tranquil time while  spring has a whole aura of activity about it.

As  Christ was born at one solstice, at December, Miss Dickinson is making the analogy that at the other one, this  summer one, is also like the dying of his light, and she sees that the falling of the year is like the falling of Christ from our lives, quietly and without notice as we run and grasp what we can squirreling about trying to collect what we can.

The grave is the fate of all of course. Worldly pleasure,  and power are illusions and only when it is over, do we realize how much this life was just a voyage to the real life ahead.