wind: 13 mph with gusts, 21 mph
Quick run in the wind and the cold after returning home. A visit with 2 fully vaccinated grandparents! Hopefully soon, we will be too. First time away from Minneapolis since October. Not too far into my run, I heard a pileated woodpecker. Not drumming, but singing. Also heard a black-capped chickadee and their fee-bee song. Can’t remember any other bird calls. Guess the wind was singing louder. Speaking of the wind, heard lots of wind chimes, especially at the house at the corner of 43rd and 32nd. Such a cacophony! Ran down towards the river but stayed on edmund. When I crested the hill, I glanced down but couldn’t see any sparkling river through the trees.
note for me to remember: On the 29th, I memorized ED’s “I felt a cleaving in my Mind–.” That night, I got a headache that came in waves, not feeling like my brain had split but like I wished it would, so I could take the top of it off to relieve the pain and pressure. Ugh! I am a wimp with headaches because I rarely get them. And because I rarely get them, they make me worry more: I never get headaches? Why now? What’s the cause? Is this the start of something worse? I’ve had a few more since then, not quite as bad. I think (am hoping) that they’re caffeine headaches. The grandparents make much weaker coffee (1 scoop of coffee for 6 cups of water), while I make really strong coffee (I scoop of coffee for 1 cup of water).
Here are the final 2 poems in my March with Emily Dickinson. They’re connected to “I felt a cleaving in my Mind–” with the ball and the seam, which speak to ED’s interest in circumference.
I felt a Cleaving in my Mind–
As if my Brain had split–
I tried to match it–Seam for Seam–
But could not make them fit.
The thought behind I strove to bind
Unto the thought before–
But Sequence ravelled out of Sound–
Like Balls upon a floor.
Emily Dickinson Poems: March 30th and 31st
I saw no Way — The Heavens were stitched — (1863)
I saw no Way — The Heavens were stitched —
I felt the Columns close —
The Earth reversed her Hemispheres —
I touched the Universe —
And back it slid — and I alone —
A Speck upon a Ball —
Went out upon Circumference —
Beyond the Dip of Bell —
As I just discovered, the Balls in “I felt a Cleaving in my Mind–” could be balls of yarn. The ball in this poem is the Earth. Another connection: instead of seams, we have stitches. ED likes the word and idea of Circumference. Lots of entries in the Emily Dickinson lexicon, which is a super handy resource: periphery, circuit, edge, skull, perspective, view, vista.
I might have a lot of fun with this idea of circumference, especially in relation to a new vision project I’d like to start: on peripheral vision. Very cool.
I found another version of this poem on the amazing blog project, White Heat. It’s in their week of posts about Circumference. It follows ED’s original manuscript and its line breaks.
I saw no Way – The
Heavens were stitched –
I felt the Columns close –
The Earth reversed her
I touched the Universe –
And back it slid —
And I alone —
A Speck opon a Ball
Went out opon Cirum —
Beyond the Dip of Bell.
Without this — there is nought — (1862)
Without this — there is nought —
All other Riches be
As is the Twitter of a Bird —
Heard opposite the Sea —
I could not care — to gain
A lesser than the Whole —
For did not this include themself —
As Seams — include the Ball?
I wished a way might be
My Heart to subdivide —
‘Twould magnify — the Gratitude —
And not reduce — the Gold —
Here’s something interesting PB has to say about this poem and curcumference and seams and balls:
The second stanza advances our understanding a little, for we learn that the poet wants the “Whole” rather than some lesser quantity or quality that would be subsumed by the whole. Dickinson uses a ball as an example. Made by stitching leather or fabric together, the ball might be considered interior to the seams encompassing it. I am reminded of Dickinson’s poetic project of circumference. She announces this project in a letter to her chosen “Preceptor”, T.W.Higginson:
“Perhaps you smile at me. I could not stop for that – My Business is Circumference –…” (L268, July 1862).
In a later poem she calls “Circumference” the “Bride of Awe.” At least part of Dickinson’s poetic quest is to trace the seams, to see the whole.the Prowling Bee
Here’s a source I’d like to track down and read about ED and circumference in “I Saw no way — The Heavens were Stitched–“:
Gribbin, Laura. “Emily Dickinson’s Circumference: Figuring a Blind Spot in the Romantic Tradition.” The Emily Dickinson Journal 2. 1 (Spring 1993): 1-21; 3-4.