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Emily Dickinson's Poems on Silence

Anne Dalke's picture

from Little Miss Lime's Blogspot

If What we could - were what we would -
Criterion - be small -
It is the Ultimate of Talk -
The Impotence to Tell -

When Bells stop ringing - Church - begins -
The positive - of Bells -
When Cogs - stop - that's Circumference -
The Ultimate - of Wheels.

My best Acquaintances are those
With Whom I spoke no Word -
The Stars that stated come to Town
Esteemed Me never rude
Although to their Celestial Call
I failed to make reply -
My constant -reverential Face
Sufficient Courtesy.

Silence is all we dread.
There’s Ransom in a Voice—
But Silence is Infinity.
Himself have not a face.

We talked with each other about each other
Though neither of us spoke -
We were listening to the seconds' Races
And the Hoofs of the Clock -
Pausing in Front of our Palsied Faces
Time compassion took -
Arks of Reprieve he offered to us -
Ararats - we took -

Speech is one symptom of Affection
And Silence one -
The perfectest communication
Is heard of none -

Exists and its indorsement
Is had within -
Behold, said the Apostle,
Yet had not seen!

To tell the Beauty would decrease
To state the Spell demean -
There is a syllable-less Sea
Of which it is the sign -
My will endeavors for its word
And fails, but entertains
A Rapture as of Legacies -
Of introspective Mines -

The words the happy say
Are paltry melody
But those the silent feel
Are beautiful -

See Project Gutenberg for more poetry by ED....