Sunday, August 21, 2011

One Need Not Be A Chamber to be Haunted by Emily Dickinson


Brumidi Corridors are the vaulted, ornately-decorated corridors on the first floor of the Senate wing in the U. S. Capitol.



One Need Not Be a Chamber to be Haunted
By Emily Dickinson

One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.

Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one’s own self encounter
In lonesome place.

Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror’s least.

The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O’erlooking a superior spectre
More near.

11 comments:

GYPSYWOMAN said...

OH HOW I LOVE THIS PIECE! and it so so suits my own thoughts of late, dear lady! thank you so much for thinking of it - magnificently beautiful, isn't it! hauntingly beautiful, actually! :)

oh, and the wv here = tromente - torment? yes! ;)

Marion said...

Thanks, Gypsy. For YEARS I had the phrase "The brain has corridors" taped to my computer at work not even knowing it was from this poem. I was thrilled when I found this poem. It is amazing, isn't it? xoxo

Ben Ditty said...

Ah, nothing like a new post from dragonfly's poetry and prolixity on a Sunday afternoon :)

ds said...

I had forgotten this one; thank you for sharing it, Marion. So many corridors, indeed...

Terresa said...

I appreciate Dickinson's economy of verse. Great one.

Marion said...

Oh, Ben. Can I adopt you? LOL! Thanks for stopping by.

DS, I love Anais Nin's prolific use of the word "labyrinth" which came to my mind when I read this poem for some reason. Glad you enjoyed it.

Yes, Terresa. It seems as if she never wasted a single word or letter. Thanks for visiting. xo

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Ooh! Big fan of Miss Dickinson, the Belle of Amherst. Love this one, though it is not familiar. I wonder if she, independent thinker, amazing observer and wordsmith, would enjoy the modern discoveries of things like neural pathways and all things Google-able. Or, if like her soul, she would simply select her own society and shut the door.

Thanks for sharing! "Corridors" is such a great word, too. Old fashioned and dripping with meaning.

Wine and Words said...

Ah yes, those haunted chambers of the mind. I wonder how I can think at all with all those ghosts I harbor there! Maybe that is why the mind gets so addled with age? We can't get a thought in edgewise for all the phantom chatter.

Love you Marion!

Ed Pilolla said...

thanks for the beautiful poem you left at my place. i loooove it:) especially the relationship between the stars and the trees. emily is amazing, and worth a few reads here, which she is getting:)

Serena said...

Ooooh, I like that. A LOT. That one is worth many rereads.

Ed Pilolla said...

hmmm. i think i was reading a different poem with my earlier comment. it happens, me out in space:)
this is so thought-provoking, the corridors of the mind, the fear, the potential that self exploration offers, including the risks.