Monday, March 22, 2010

Row Me Softer Home

"Emily Dickinson is another heroine for me. I don't know where she came from. She's a good argument for just living at home with the door shut."--Jane Campion, Director of Bright Star, in this Barnes & Noble interview.

I don't know about keeping the door shut, but the memories I cherish most are of staying home with the children when we lived "in the woods" in Louisiana, watching them explore their little world.

Here is an Emily Dickinson poem that I remember fondly from Nathaniel's and Emma's grammar school days. They took such delight in memorizing it. It was about the same time that we had hatched goslings, and the two of them spent many happy afternoons leading their fuzzy yellow charges around our property to puddles and ponds, catching baby frogs for the goslings to gobble up "raw".

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,--
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, plashless, as they swim.

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