Mine: Mój!

Mine by the right of the white election!
Mine by the royal seal!
Mine by the sign in the scarlet prison
Bars cannot conceal!


Mine, here in vision and in veto!
Mine, by the grave’s repeal
Titled, confirmed,-— delirious charter!
Mine, while the ages steal!




Mój, prawem głosu prytejskim!
Mój, pieczęcią tą monarszą!
Mój, znakiem w tym kazamacie szkarłatnym
Co kraty go nie ujarzmią!


Mój,  z poglądem tu i kontrą!
Mój, ponad umieranie
Tytułem, afirmowany, — niepomiarkowaną kartą!
Mój, gdy wieki rabusiami!



Mine suggests me of a rare book, possibly on Greek poetry or philosophy. The white vote was that of approval in ancient Greece, which in matters of the state yet had to be affirmed by officials named the prytaneis, hence prawem głosu prytejskim, in my translation.


Therefore, the “royal seal” would be the ex libris, a stamp to say, literally, from among the books owned by…; in Polish, pieczęć ta monarsza, to denote an ex libris stamp. The verse equals the skill and pleasure of reading with a royal dignity.


Emily Dickinson was not the only person in world history to have exhibited a possessive feeling about printed matter. We can compare an inscription in Henry VIII’s copy of Cicero’s De Officiis. The line says, Thys Boke Is Myne. Stamped or signed books were less practical to appropriate, ink penetrating the page.


HENRY VIII's Inscirption in Cicero Thys_Boke_Is_Myne



The grave’s repeal has happened to be interepreted as the resurrection, yet Biblical writings emphasize Christ’s rising by own powers, not an agency of another. The verb to repeal, when we look up Webster 1828, can mean calling back from, yet obsolete with regard to persons. The line thus may suggest survival of a thought, hence ponad umieranie. The phrase while the ages steal would hint at the Antiquity, as of many years ago. The verse to follow, the Bequest (Love, II), clearly indicates the Antiquity, in my opinion.


I exclude any possibility of political interpretation. First “white primaries” were established after 1890, and Emily Dickinson died in 1886.


Feel welcome to comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s