13c75ded9fa12e6d3b00f11ad82ab71b.jpg“While You Were Sleeping” – Su Blackwell

(poetry diary 98) I’m posting an Emily Dickinson poem this morning– one of the two poems that have been most on my mind over the past few days. (The other is the Merwin “Thanks” poem which showed up on a number of the bigger poetry sites yesterday, presumably because its mixture of thankfulness and fear echo what many people, at least in my circles, have been feeling.) I’ve been thinking of Dickinson’s “After great pain” in relation to the shock and grief that hit many of us after election day.  The formal feeling is coming, but so is the need to not become overly numb or complacent– especially in regards to news reports of hate crimes being perpetuated in the name of the President-elect.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes – (372)
Emily Dickinson
After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

Read rest of poem