logotype

Poems

J501


This World is not Conclusion.
A Species stands beyond -
Invisible, as Music -
But positive, as Sound -
It beckons, and it baffles -
Philosophy - don't know -
And through a Riddle, at the last -
Sagacity, must go -
To guess it, puzzles scholars -
To gain it, Men have borne
Contempt of Generations
And Crucifixion, shown -
Faith slips - and laughs, and rallies -
Blushes, if any see -
Plucks at a twig of Evidence -
And asks a Vane, the way -
Much Gesture, from the Pulpit -
Strong Hallelujahs roll -
Narcotics cannot still the Tooth
That nibbles at the soul -

c. 1862                   1896

 

Another investigation of the "interval" between life and death that Dickinson describes in J822. Although she begins with a simple affirmation of certainty, her faith in another realm is gradually undermined until she finally acknowledges that doubt seems to be an inherent aspect of human nature.