Weekly musings on the arts and current events.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Solace of Poetry

Someone let me down. The details aren't important and the damage won't be lasting. But during the period of reeling and reflecting, and thinking too late of what I wished I'd said to her, I thought of this poem by Emily Dickinson and it gave me comfort.

Poets give voice to anguish and injuries that can afflict us all. A poet can dignify our heartbreaks and restore our hopes. In the 1934 film "Twentieth Century" John Barrymore says to the weeping Carole Lombard: "The sorrows of life are the joys of art." I wish I knew which of the five writers on that film was responsible for that line because it is very wise.

Here is the Emily Dickinson poem I turned to this morning:

It dropped so low--in my Regard--
I heard it hit the Ground--
And go to pieces on the Stones
At bottom of my Mind--

Yet blamed the Fate that flung it--less
Than I denounced Myself,
For entertaining Plated Wares
Upon my Silver Shelf--

ca. 1863

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