To Emily Dickinson

By Yvor Winters 1900–1968 Yvor Winters
Dear Emily, my tears would burn your page,
But for the fire-dry line that makes them burn—
Burning my eyes, my fingers, while I turn
Singly the words that crease my heart with age.
If I could make some tortured pilgrimage
Through words or Time or the blank pain of Doom
And kneel before you as you found your tomb,
Then I might rise to face my heritage.

Yours was an empty upland solitude
Bleached to the powder of a dying name;
The mind, lost in a word’s lost certitude
That faded as the fading footsteps came
To trace an epilogue to words grown odd
In that hard argument which led to God.

Yvor Winters, “To Emily Dickinson” from The Collected Poems of Yvor Winters. Used by permission of Ohio University Press, Athens, Ohio.

Source: The Collected Poems of Yvor Winters (1960)

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Poet Yvor Winters 1900–1968

Subjects Poetry & Poets, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Yvor  Winters

Biography

Allen Tate once commented on Yvor Winters the poet thus: "If he has been neglected—when he has not been ignored—the reasons are not hard to find. He has conducted a poetic revolution all his own that owes little or nothing to the earlier revolution of Pound and Eliot, and that goes back to certain great, likewise neglected Tudor poets for metrical and stylistic models." Winters commented to Contemporary Authors: "Tate is wrong . . .

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SUBJECT Poetry & Poets, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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