Emily Dickinson is my favourite poet –
An American as my favourite poet –
I never would have imagined it!
But it’s true that one finds
Natural diamonds in mines
12.23.94 – 12.24.94
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.
Notes to this poem…
Ah, yes. My first of many, though I don’t mean overwhelmingly many, poems about Emily Dickinson, my favourite poet and the inspiration behind this one stanza poem form of which I have written so many, though here I do mean many, like 135 of them as of Oct 2007. A fiercely patriotic Canadian like any other Canadian when stacked up against Americans, I had a good chuckle about having my favourite poet being American when there isn’t even a Canadian poet I had even remotely liked then, or now, for that matter. So I compared the situation to how diamonds, so brilliant and admired like Emily Dickinson, were found in dark and dirty mines underground, which wasn’t far from what I thought of America in a zealous Canadian patriotic sense.
As an aside, I think a few Canadian poets are OK. Some have a few nice poems, but nobody ranks with me anywhere near the status of Dickinson, Rossetti, Frost, Wordsworth or Shakespeare who were my favourite 1-5 then, and still now. I’ve added a few songwriters to the mix now, like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, but for the most part, nobody’s shaken my poetic world since those days.
Finally, note the dates of composition. Such was my life at the time that near Christmas and Christmas Eve, I just found some time to write poetry to pass the time away. I did not complete many poems, or started many on those dates, either. However, I worked on a bunch more whose composition dates spanned those dates.
The O-series of poems are one stanza poems composed before I got onto writing haiku and tanka, and short poetry while in action or traveling by select means like plane or ferry. These poems are 3-9 lines long with at least one rhyming couplet, and not of the short forms just mentioned. For the sake of elegance, I just called the collection One.