Spring Madness with Miss Emily, Day 16th of Poetry Month

Emily’s birthday is actually in December, but considering the talk of madness I just couldn’t resist the image with the little hat. I pilfered it from the Arts Hound announcement of her annual celebration in Houston four months ago. You can find the original image by clicking here. 

We’ve talked about Emily in the past, and will talk about her I am sure in the future, so since this poem is short and sweet, I’ll try to just shut up quickly here and let the poem sink in for you. Written between the time of the white man’s arrival in America, and our modern age of dwindling forests, I find her commentary both wise and prophetic. There is of course the Biblical allusion to King Nebuchadnezzar, who went mad and ate the grass of the fields in the Book of Daniel, but this is one of those little gems that packs in a lot into just a few words.


A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown –
Who ponders this tremendous scene –
This whole Experiment of Green –
As if it were his own!

15 Comments Add yours

  1. John says:

    Yay for Emily! Yay for your reading! Yay for Spring …. though we’ve had a strange spring… warm, then snow, windy, then snow… we had about eight inches of snow yesterday, and a lot of it melted today, and we are getting eight more inches of snow tomorrow. Fun!


    1. Yay for your yays! But wait, Eight more inches of snow? We’ve had a weird on-again-off-again spring here, but where are you located again? I didn’t think we were that far away.


    2. John says:

      no, we aren’t very close.. colorado isn’t close to you. unless something’s happened that i am unaware of. 🙂


    3. OH! That’s right, Colorado. I forgot. LOL Wishful thinking, I guess. 😦 Can’t we just fold the map? Sort of like the Wrinkle in Time book.


    4. John says:

      One of these days, I’ll make it out that way again… I’d like to hike some parts of the Appalachian Trail — which goes thru PA, drive the Blue Ridge Highway again, and the Skyview (?) Highway? And, heck, even Gettysburg… never been there.


    5. I like Gettysburg. And parts of the Appalachian Trail are not far from here. I haven’t been to Colorado since visiting my ex bf’s sister there in Pueblo, some 8 years ago. We hiked the dunes, went up Pike’s Peak. . . that was a nice trip.


    6. John says:

      Yeah, it’s pretty territory out here…


  2. slpmartin says:

    Ah…a perfectly timed poem for this part of the year…enjoyed it.


    1. Thank you, Charles. Yes, I was doing Spring cleaning today, and still have much to do. I think a Philip Levine poem about Spring is coming up next.


  3. Ah Emily. She was wise, indeed. Thanks for sharing.


  4. JaimeH says:

    David…it’s perfect!! 🙂


    1. Glad you liked it, Jaime!


  5. GrayFoxDown says:

    Dickinson is one of those unique poets that everyone seems to love or, at least, appreciate. When I was in high school and college, even the most unabashed philistines (just taking up space in the classroom) exhibited a passing interest in her. Of course, this may be due to the fact that her poems are simply short; but I suspect it’s because her verse is simply mesmerizing that she attracts such considerable respect and attention.


    1. I do adore her, and admit that I came to love her almost despite my 11th grade English teacher. 🙂


  6. angryricky says:

    Her phrases of madness ring in my head, often for no reason at all–There’s two of us (happy promise, that), or You’re straightway dangerous, and handled with a chain (I feel like I am, sometimes).


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