Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poem of the Day: Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Lonely House, Emily Dickinson


I know some lonely houses off the road
A robber 'd like the look of, --
Wooden barred,
And windows hanging low,
Inviting to
A portico,
Where two could creep:
One hand the tools,
The other peep
To make sure all's asleep.
Old-fashioned eyes,
Not easy to surprise!

How orderly the kitchen 'd look by night,
With just a clock, --
But they could gag the tick,
And mice won't bark;
And so the walls don't tell,
None will.

A pair of spectacles ajar just stir --
An almanac's aware.
Was it the mat winked,
Or a nervous star?
The moon slides down the stair
To see who's there.

There's plunder, -- where?
Tankard, or spoon,
Earring, or stone,
A watch, some ancient brooch
To match the grandmamma,
Staid sleeping there.

Day rattles, too,
Stealth's slow;
The sun has got as far
As the third sycamore.
Screams chanticleer,
"Who's there?"
And echoes, trains away,
Sneer -- "Where?"
While the old couple, just astir,
Fancy the sunrise left the door ajar!

1 comment:

harrogate said...

That's crazy that you posted a Dickinson. Harrogate's been rediscovering his love for her, and will be teaching her later this summer.

Harrogate was not familiar with this particular poem, but it does capture what it is that he has been liking about her lately, this mix of melancholy with a delight in subversive behavior. Thievery is right up her alley.