Rachel Hadas: Holding on to hope is hard, even with the pandemic’s end in sight – wisdom from poets through the ages
As we begin to glimpse what might be the beginning of the end of the pandemic, what does hope mean? It’s hard not to sense the presence of hope, but how do we think of it?
feeling between her
and Emily, the centuries in
between two women
alone in their rooms.
I have no Life but this —
To lead it here —
The Soul selects her own Society —
Then — shuts the Door —
As the world continues to endure the ravages of COVID-19, another ghost of Dickinson steps into view.
She dealt her pretty words like Blades–
How glittering they shone—
And every One unbared a Nerve
Or wantoned with a Bone—
For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
That time’s lost now, when a stone could hurt,
when a feather missed its wing,
when sky kissed clouds and grass kissed dirt
and nothing thought itself just a thing.
Grief is a Thief—quick startled—
Pricks His Ear—report to hear
Of that Vast Dark—
That swept His Being—back—
Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
We grow accustomed to the Dark –
When light is put away –
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye
The Loneliness One dare not sound—And would as soon surmiseAs in its Grave go plumbingTo ascertain the size— The Loneliness whose worst alarmIs lest itself should see—And perish from before … Continue reading