Epitaph: Epitafium

Step lightly on this narrow spot!
The broadest land that grows
Is not so ample as the breast
These emerald seams enclose.
Step lofty; for this name is told
As far as cannon dwell,
Or flag subsist, or fame export
Her deathless syllable.




Stąpaj lekko, w wąskim tym miejscu!
Ziemie żywe, najszersze
Piersi tej pełnią nie równe
Co ją szmaragdu obrąb obejmie.
Wzniośle stąpaj; bo to imię rzecze
Każdy, gdzie armata się zatrzymuje
Flaga trwa, a sława niesie
Sylabą co nie umrze.

At least to pray is left

At least to pray is left, is left.
O Jesus! in the air
I know not which thy chamber is, —
I ‘m knocking everywhere.
Thou stirrest earthquake in the South,
And maelstrom in the sea;
Say, Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
Hast thou no arm for me?




Przynajmniej, pozostaje się modlić.
O Jezu! w przestworzach
Nie wiem, które twoje pokoje, —
Wszędzie stukoczę.
Na południu, twoim ziemi wstrząsanie
I wir melstromu morskiego
Powiedz, Jezu Nazaretański,
Nie masz ty dla mnie ramienia?

Going to heaven!


Going to heaven!
I don’t know when,
Pray do not ask me how, —
Indeed, I ‘m too astonished
To think of answering you!
Going to heaven! —
How dim it sounds!
And yet it will be done
As sure as flocks go home at night
Unto the shepherd’s arm!


Perhaps you ‘re going too!
Who knows?
If you should get there first,
Save just a little place for me
Close to the two I lost!


The smallest “robe” will fit me,
And just a bit of “crown;”
For you know we do not mind our dress
When we are going home.


I ‘m glad I don’t believe it,
For it would stop my breath,
And I ‘d like to look a little more
At such a curious earth!
I am glad they did believe it
Whom I have never found
Since the mighty autumn afternoon
I left them in the ground.




Idę do nieba!
Nie wiem, kiedy
Proszę, nie pytaj, jak —
Jestem zbyt zaskoczona
Aby pomyśleć, jak odpowiedzieć!
Idę do nieba! —
Mgliście to brzmi tak
Ale rzecz się dokona
Pewnikiem, jak stadka na noc wracają do domu
Na pasterza ramiona!


Może ty też idziesz!
Kto wie?
Jak by pierwej tam tobie,
Miejsca zachowaj mi troszkę
Blisko tych dwóch, co puściłam przedtem!


Najmniejsza „suknia” mi będzie pasować
A troszkę tylko „korony”;
Bo wiesz, że nie martwią nas stroje
Kiedy idziemy do domu.


Cieszę się, że w to nie wierzę,
Bo oddech by mi zatrzymało
A chcę sobie dalej popatrzeć
Na ziemię tak ciekawą!
Że one wierzyły, się cieszę
Te, co ich już nie znalazłam
Od tego popołudnia jesiennego
Gdy zostawiłam je nie zerwane.

The uncouth love in Emily Dickinson’s poetry

Let us make a premise.

  • We cannot have poetry for a personal account. We need to allow for the poetic person.
  • The word sense for uncouth is not customary, not ordinary and thus unfamiliar.


Emily Dickinson’s contemporaries did put love in a rather tight corset: if one loved, it had to be a person, human or God. However, let us compare the American Heritage today, for a transitive and defining use of the verb to love.


LOVE, verb, transitive: 1. To feel love for (a person); 2. To feel sexual love for (a person).


Here, the transitive and defining use ends. Further, we can have kindness, emotional attachment, or enthusiasm.



Naturally, we should not have the same word for the definiens and the definiendum. Saying, “to love is to love”, we either commit ourselves to tautology, or make a motto. 🙂



Today too, a prominent lexical resource emphasizes love as a feeling for people, whereas both history and behaviorism would have proved that expectation on love as a feeling fundamentally for a person is narcissistic vanity. 😉


When I published my translation of Surrender on a website, the reaction was disbelief. I had mistaken something, the opinions were.



The forum was not the only such environment.
“In my opinion, the poem is saying she’s angry with a friend who is getting back together with someone who won’t give her his whole heart.”



>>God<< must be the subject of >>would be content<< and we see the second and more significant meaning. God would be content if she only dedicated to him a fraction of what she gives the lover.”



There might be hardly anything more prosaic than dusting books. Penning verse about it belongs with genius (take pen and paper and try). Let us imagine the poetic person was reading, when the time for dusting came. The person surrendered and allowed the housekeeping activity.


What if we continue holding love for a feeling that can refer to a human, or God strictly? Let us begin with the notion of God. Nobody can presume intimacy with God.


Why, God would be content
With but a fraction of the love
Poured thee without a stint.


In all philosophy and religion, God is an entity of own will and affect, among other attributes shared with humans. Nobody can take satisfying God for granted. Fortunately, the first line has the clue: my dim companion.


There is a dim capacity for wings and a fear too dim, in Emily Dickinson’s poetry; there are dim, long-expectant eyes and dim countries; there is dim sounding and a dim border star; dimity in convictions, dimities of blue, and dimming in thought, as well as traits dimmer than a lace — but no dim persons or people. What can get dim with time? Printed text. A companion can be a lexicon, handbook, or compendium.


Contrary to the rather odd idea for conceit, the poetic person does not express certainty to please God. The person does not expect own name in a written resource to have a definition of God (content also can be a book interior). My suspect is Webster 1828, entry: God.


As regards pleasing people, a gift of dust could be only ridiculous, especially for love and courtship. There never have been such poor people.


Interpretations of Emily Dickinson’s poetry also happen to put a yoke of physicalness on emotion.


Zostawiłeś mi Granice Bólu –
Pojemne jak Morze –
(Bequest, Love II)


Should one have had as little experience with pain as milk tooth ache only, one still knows the people round do not have the same physical sensations. Things are the same for people to have lived before us.


If we combine the notions of content and vastness, we can compare the Greek βαρύμοχθος, barymochthos, toilsome. Today, we have the phrase to take the pains, expressing conscious effort. This needs not bring on physical, psychological, or literally any pain at all.


In The mystery of pain (Life, XIX), it is not physical pain the poetic person means, as well. The verse elaborates on language as a cognitive device, in which Emily Dickinson could be recognized as a precursor.


Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.


It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.


There is not ― as there never has been ― pain, physical or psychological, without awareness of its beginning and source: at least in people capable of writing. However, if we look to language paradigms, we notice that verbs like to ache, in Polish boleć, Latin doleo, or Greek ponao, do not have the Passive. We do not say *we are ached, or *jesteśmy boleni.


Regarding the new periods of pain, we can exclude the female indisposition, in the light of awareness as above. Languages have their periods however, and those have happened to bring change in verb patterns, as Late Latin when compared with Old Latin, for example.


How is language a cognitive device here? Looking at charts that show language paradigms, for example, we can let free thought. Here, it would be that we do not have to learn everything by experience. For own good wit to motivate our lives — as inevitably, even if we take advice, it is us to take it — we can consider phenomena and make resolves. Finally, making a life painful would not make it meaningful (“an element of blank”).


Feel welcome to compare the free, creative thought on language paradigms, in other pieces.



I think Emily Dickinson loved language, reading and writing. It does not do her justice, to be presented as an eccentric who offers dust, or says she has physical pain over some centuries that have passed.


Finally, I have defined love of language myself.


LANGUAGE, noun, is an audible or visible letter shape or speech sound structuring of phonological, syntactic, and semantic integrity that can communicate thought as well as affect. Inner language is an internalized language form to prioritize syntax and semantics.


LOVE, noun, is a long-term attachment to involve active interest in good quality.


LOVE OF LANGUAGE, noun phrase, may express in reading, writing, publishing written matter, care for spoken qualities, as well as supporting the behaviors.


Obviously, we are free to have more than one love. 🙂

The thematic stanza for Emily Dickinson’s poetry

We may need to make up own minds over the stanza, for Emily Dickinson’s poetry. An authorial decision was impossible already with the first print. Not all poems were even titled by the poet.


The Higginson-Todd stanza happens to be arbitrary. The reservation is not on the punctuation only. Stanzas need to be integral components of meaning. The wind requires some thought on the comma and stanza end.


Of all the sounds despatched abroad,
There’s not a charge to me
Like that old measure in the boughs,
That phraseless melody
The wind does, working like a hand
Whose fingers brush the sky,
Then quiver down, with tufts of tune
Permitted gods and me.


When winds go round and round in bands,
And thrum upon the door,
And birds take places overhead,
To bear them orchestra,


I crave him grace, of summer boughs,
If such an outcast be,
He never heard that fleshless chant
Rise solemn in the tree,
As if some caravan of sound
On deserts, in the sky,
Had broken rank,
Then knit, and passed
In seamless company.


The comma can mark a part of a train of thought:


When winds go round and round in bands,
And thrum upon the door,
And birds take places overhead,
To bear them orchestra,


The comma would not work the same way in Success. Here, the comma marks an incomplete language structure:
not one / can tell / the definition / of victory/ comma /as he


Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.
Not one of all the purple host
Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory,
As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Break, agonized and clear!


The verse was reportedly published in “A Masque of Poets”, at the request of “H.H.,” the author’s fellow-townswoman and friend. It brings a picture of a brief and transient victory of the opposite side. Making my decision on the unitary, short form layout, I could follow the Houghton print image, as presented in Wikipedia.




However, I keep the semantics of the Higginson-Todd as the one to make sense. Mistakes have happened in the media since their very beginnings. The final words as in the Houghton copy would have the one to define success experiencing uttermost failure. Opposite semantics never becomes misnomers, in Emily Dickinson’s writing.


The distant strains of triumph
Break, agonized and clear.


It was integrity of the thought to make me present the Psalm of the day as a 3×3 ― 6 ― 2×3 ― 6 layout. Feel welcome.

The conscious mind of Emily Dickinson

There is an occurrence in Emily Dickinson’s verse; it is beyond mere coincidence or unaware habit. Noticed, it helps see her inspiration with Greek and Latin.


(Time and Eternity, XVIII, Playmates) Latin: collusor, companion at play; condiscipulus, school-mate; angelus, a messenger, an angel; lapillus, small stone, pebble (marble?); lusus, a game;  Greek: ὁμηλυσία, omelusia, companionship.


God permits industrious angels
Afternoons to play.
I met one, — forgot my school-mates,
All, for him, straightway.


God calls home the angels promptly
At the setting sun;
I missed mine. How dreary marbles,
After playing Crown!


The inspiration is morpho-phonemic. Let us try a few more pieces. (Life, XXIII, Unreturning) ἀνάπλυσις, anaplusis, washing or rinsing out; ἀνήλυσις, anelusis, going up, return; ἤλυσις, elusis, step, gait; lenunculus, a small sailing-vessel, bark, skiff (the toddling little boat).


‘T was such a little, little boat
That toddled down the bay!
‘T was such a gallant, gallant sea
That beckoned it away!


‘T was such a greedy, greedy wave
That licked it from the coast;
Nor ever guessed the stately sails
My little craft was lost!


We can compare the Greek -upo/ypo- for I asked no other thing (Life, XII, p. 213): ἰσότυπος, isotypos, shaped alike, συνυπόπτωσις, synypoptosis, simultaneous presentation to the senses; Latin cauponarius, a male shopkeeper, tradesman, ποπτερνίς, upopternis, a knob (a kind of a button that can twirl, in the modern use), and πo, below, looking a picture up and down (as Brazil on a map).


I asked no other thing,
No other was denied.
I offered Being for it;
The mighty merchant smiled.


Brazil? He twirled a button,
Without a glance my way:
“But, madam, is there nothing else
That we can show to-day?”


Feel also welcome to read Why I stay with the first print.


Cognitive variables can help learn

The grammar is not to join critics of Emily Dickinson’s style. Our human minds have a natural habit to associate time and place. Without exception, the two co-occur in our earthly reality: we cannot have time without place, or place without time. Computer virtual projects might isolate the two, but human grammar has not evolved in a virtual reality.


Let us think about a few basic words we might use to talk about places. The words could be on, in, and to: we people live on Earth, we give at least psychological borders to areas in which we are, and we learn as well as remember ways to places.


We people also map cognitively. Our cognitive maps do not have the strict geographical measurement, but they partake in the ability to get to a place in the shortest length of space as well as time, in our everyday routes, to school, work, or another location.


Let us think about the grammatical Aspects most children acquire before school tuition begins: the Simple, the Progressive, and the Perfect.


The Simple: We often use it to speak about habits, as well as feelings and thoughts — all that does not change often. We may have the habit to do something usually, as well as… never. We can think about a cognitive map. The Simple would tell what we generally see that existed, exists, or we think will exist ON the map.


The Progressive: We can use it to say that something was, is, or will be IN progress, IN its course. To imagine this Aspect, we could picture activity or faculties in an area.


The Perfect: we can use it to say what had taken place, has taken place, or will have taken place TO a moment in time. The moment does not have to mark the end of the state, activity, or faculty work. We may view the course or occurrence of the activity as a way to a place.


As our grammars cannot depend on particular geographical areas, we may think about an abstract cognitive extent that would work for us wherever we are.



Let us compare classic grammar guidance. We may learn we use the Present Progressive for things happening “now”. We might get to associate the tense with the word “now”, but such a rule would not work any time we speak about the way we feel or think. We yet say,

I am happy now,
I think I like it now
(Present Simple).


With variables, we may think about granting or denying cognitive extents. For example, if we select part an extent for our view, we mark we do not mean an entire extent:


He is being mad {IN}. He is sane {ON}.


Feel welcome to comment as well as see more at

Chapter 4. Time rambles different with different people


I bring an unaccustomed wine

I bring an unaccustomed wine
To lips long parching, next to mine,
And summon them to drink.


Crackling with fever, they essay;
I turn my brimming eyes away,
And come next hour to look.


The hands still hug the tardy glass;
The lips I would have cooled, alas!
Are so superfluous cold,


I would as soon attempt to warm
The bosoms where the frost has lain
Ages beneath the mould.


Some other thirsty there may be
To whom this would have pointed me
Had it remained to speak.


And so I always bear the cup
If, haply, mine may be the drop
Some pilgrim thirst to slake, —


If, haply, any say to me,
“Unto the little, unto me,”
When I at last awake.




Przynoszę wino, niezwyczajnym
Przy moich, ustom długo obsychanym,
I naglę, by upiły łyk.


Próbują, gorączką kruszone;
Odwracam oczy załzawione,
Po godzinie, spoglądam.


Dłonie naczynie ściskają dalej;
Żal, usta które bym schładzała
Tak już przemarzłe,


Ogrzać je bym podejmowała
Jak serca, co zimnica uskładała
Na wieki, pod kurhanem.


Może innych też posiadło łaknienie
Którym na mnie by polecenie
Gdyby mówić dalej.


Noszę więc kubeczek
Gdyby mnie przyszło kropelkę
Dać pielgrzymiej suchocie, —


Gdyby komu do mnie rzec,
„Mnie, mi, drobinę”
Jak w końcu przytomnieję.

Let down the bars, O Death

Let down the bars, O Death!
The tired flocks come in
Whose bleating ceases to repeat,
Whose wandering is done.


Thine is the stillest night,
Thine the securest fold;
Too near thou art for seeking thee,
Too tender to be told.




O Śmierci, zasuwy twe otwórz
Gromady zmęczone przychodzą
Co jęków nie ponawiają
Co ich wędrówce koniec.


Twoją najcichsza z nocy,
Twoją najtrwalsza zagroda;
Za bliskaś, by cię szukać
Za czuła, by cię rozpoznać.

Dlaczego pozostaję przy pierwodruku

“Obszerne stosowanie myślników i niekonwencjonalne użycie dużych liter w manuskryptach Dickinson, wraz z idiosynkratycznym słownictwem i wyobrażeniowością, łącznie tworzą pracę znacznie bardziej różnorodną w stylach i formach niż powszechnie się oczekuje”, mówi Wikipedia, jak wielu innych.


“Studenci mogą mieć problemy z wyglądem poematów ― z faktem, że nie mają tytułów; że są często krótkie, skondensowane, skompresowane; że myślnik jest tak często używany w miejsce tradycyjnych znaków przestankowych.”



“Idiosynkratyczna praktyka poetycka Dickinson — jej wszechobecne użycie myślników, na przykład, czy niespodziewane duże litery…”



Poezja Emilii Dickinson była sukcesem wśród ludzi jej czasów – głównie tych, którzy znali poprawną pisownię oraz, tak jak ona, byli świadomi teksów założycielskich, Deklaracji Niepodległości, Konstytucji, czy Karty Praw. Ona na pewno nie miała swojej poezji za jedynie żart, chociaż miała poczucie humoru.


Jej poezja została wydana po raz pierwszy w roku 1890, przez Tomasza Wentwortha Higginsona oraz Mabel Loomis Todd, którzy znali ją osobiście. Wydanie to nie miało “idiosynkrazji”. Owe pojawiły się wraz z drukiem Johnsona z roku 1955, opartym na kolekcjach które Harward dostał w roku 1950, jako dar od Gilberta H. Montague. Amherst College otrzymał kolekcję od Millicent Todd Bingham, w 1956.



Przeanalizujmy Houghton F124C, szkic Bezpiecznych w alabastru swoich izbach.


The graphemic dash

Możemy wątpić, czy zaznaczone spacje są myślnikami. Wyglądają na grafemiczne podkreślenie rytmu, jeżeli rozważyć całą stronę.



Oznaczenia przynależą dobrze z nawykiem ręki. Możemy je zobaczyć wokół imienia adresatki, Suz. Nawyk ten ma otwarte ε któe zamyka się dla klastrów sibilantów, na przykład. Możemy porównać diadεms, Dogεs, oraz soundless.


Evidentnie, Emilia Dickinson rozwinęła swą praktykę pisemną, ponieważ język mówiony miał znaczenie w jej notacji. Dlaczego? Dla przykładu, zapraszam do przeczytania o jej inspiracji greką i łaciną.



Kontynuując analizę fizycznych własności manuskrytpów, przyjrzyjmy się kolejnej próbce. Wierszem nadal jest “Bezpieczni w alabastru swoich izbach”.




Houghton F124B, Bezpieczni w alabastru swoich izbach.


Nawyk ręki nie ma charakterystycznego T, a F124B byłoby bliższe czystej kopii, niż F124C. Teorie o pogarszającym się wzroku Emilii Dickinson zawodzą z poważnego względu: pisemnie, litery w F124B nie są większe, ani szeroko rozstawione.




Najwyraźniej, wedle pani Todd i pana Higginsona, ów kszłat T przynależał z materiałem nadającym się do prezentacji, a nie tylko ze szkicami. Więcej, jak to zazwyczaj z ludźmi bywa, T Emilii Dickinson rośnie, a nie maleje, wraz z finalizacją tekstu.


Graphemics of T__3


Fotokopia pisma Emilii Dickinson wydanego z serią pierwszą.


Jest coś bardzo dziwnego, z następnymi próbkami. Kopie te to Houghton F67A i F67B, wiersza Za późno, Emilii Dickinson. Tekst jest przepisany, prawie spójnie z drukiem Higginson-Todd.



F67A różni się dwoma słowami, joy i remaining; F67B jedynie słowem joy. Mogło ono występować w jakiejś wstępnej wersji poematu. Jednakowoż, patrząc na rytm i rym, widać, że nie miało tam pozostać.


Delayed till she had ceased to know,
Delayed till in its vest of snow
Her loving bosom lay.
An hour behind the fleeting breath,
Later by just an hour than death, —
Oh, lagging yesterday!


Could she have guessed that it would be;
Could but a crier of the joy (?)
Have climbed the distant hill;
Had not the bliss so slow a pace,—
Who knows but this surrendered face
Were undefeated still?


Joy oraz glee są blisko synonimiczne. Autorka nie mogła mieć trudności z dostosowaniem wysłowienia. Dlaczego więc przepisywać całość, z jednym tylko słówkiem z jakiegoś szkicu? Czy możemy wierzyć, że zrobiła to Emilia Dickinson? Pismo nie ma wielu cech charakterystycznych.


Datowanie radiowęglowe manuskryptów mogłoby się okazać cenne, wraz z C14 atramentu.



Moją decyzją jest pozostać przy druku Higginson-Todd. Mabel Todd i Thomas Wentwroth Higginson znali notację Emilii Dickinson dla szkiców. Zgadzam się, że zwrotki wyglądają w pierwodruku na arbitralne i czasem nie podążam za owym podziałem. Zwrotka powinna być integralną składową znaczenia, stąd moje tematyczne, czy też semantyczne zwrotki. Pracuję na przesłance, że część poezji najprawdopodbniej nie była ukończona, a decyzje autorskie nie były możliwe już przy pierwodruku.


Czy poezja Emilii Dickinson próbuje opowiadać o specjalnych Pszczołach, Ptakach, czy Uszach, jak sugerowałyby druki jej poezji dzisiaj?


Light laughs the breeze
In her Castle above them—
Babbles the Bee in a stolid Ear,
Pipe the Sweet Birds in ignorant cadence—
Ah, what sagacity perished here!


Nie. Jej notacja służyła rymowi, rytmowi, oraz jęzkowym morfemom.