Poet: Emily Dickinson
Least Rivers -- docile to some sea
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: Published/Written in 1955
Comment 2 of 2, added on February 25th, 2007 at 4:47 PM.
Of the 1775 poems by Emily Dickinson in the Thomas H. Johnson edition, #212 is the most "compact"--and Thesus' comment on the "lunatic, the lover and the poet" from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" avails here--of all her poems: a mere nine words! Yet half the world and a rich and fundamental human experience--being in love--is encompassed here. While fiercely proud and protective of her own hard-won poetic authority during her lifetime (ratified only after her death), Dickinson--woman in a man's world--manifested a consistent humility; hence, the "least" rivers. But an understood "Even" precedes the "least." The intensity of her passion--for whom? Amazonian?--was very intense (as her letters and poems from the late 1850's, early 1860's evince), and her river spills into the Caspian, no minimal body of water (and a lovely sound to its name.) Don't let the "docile" fool you; that's understatement as well. The poem is a tightly concentrated expression of ardent romantic love (which dozens of others of her poems present as well.) The generality of "some" is undermined (if not obliterated) by the arch specificity of "thee." Wouldn't you want to be loved like that?
Steve Mann from United States
Comment 1 of 2, added on April 18th, 2005 at 8:54 AM.
wow......if i had know that was a poem i would have done that for english class. Also your poem moved me to a higher state of being i am now enlightend.
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