from My Emily Dickinson
the universal is the entrance into evil. Love, a binding force, is both envy and
emulation. HE (the Puritan God) is a realm of mystery and will always remain
unknowable, authoritarian, unpredictable. Between revealed will and secret will
Love has been torn in two.
DUALISM: Pythagoras said that all things were divisible into two genera,
good and evil; in the genus of good things he classified all perfect things
such as light, males, repose, and so forth, whereas in the genus of evil
he classified darkness, females, and so forth.
(Thomas Aquinas, “On the Power of God,” p. 84)
Promethean aspiration: To be a woman and a Pythagorean. What is the communal
vision of poetry if you are curved, odd, indefinite, irregular, feminine. I go in
disguise. Soul under stress, thread of connection broken, fusion of love and
knowledge broken, visionary energy lost, Dickinson means this to be an ugly verse.
First I find myself a Slave, next I understand my slavery, finally I re-discover
myself at liberty inside the confines of known necessity. Gun goes on thinking of
the violence done to meaning. Gun watches herself watching.
Susan Howe, from My Emily Dickinson. Copyright © 1985 by Susan Howe. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.
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Poet Susan Howe b. 1937
POET’S REGION U.S., New England
SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry
Poetic Terms Prose Poem