If I should ever meet Emily Dickinson –
I would like to hear her speak –
Anyone else There wanting my attention –
Well – They can wait until Emily is done –
For ‘tis not Their words of wisdom that I seek!
04.13.95 – 06.25.95
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.
Notes to this poem…
Emily Dickinson is my main poetic influence, by a long shot. I love her poetry for their form and content, especially her abstract, but easy to understand metaphors.
Unfortunately, Emily died long before I was ever born so the only way I would be able to meet her were if there were a Heaven and I ended up there. Having seen my unsubscribing nature to religious gospels in notes written for other poems, it shouldn’t surprise someone I valued Emily’s wisdom more than that found in the scriptures because as far as I am concerned, they were written by man and were not nearly as enlightening in wisdom as Emily’s poetry. She had the visions of the world which really gave me insight into humans and humanity. I’d hate to tell you but a lot of the stuff in the gospel, I could have told you learning in life from various sources and on my own. I’m not calling myself a prophet in saying that. I’m just saying it’s way overrated for insight and whatever else it’s supposed to be good for, no offense intended to anybody’s religion although I am sure there are many who will take it that way. Just keep in mind many cultures all have the same stories in their mythologies long before religious scriptures, more creative and expounding on more topics. The scriptures just sort of gave it all a “corporate identity” with all of it tied together a bit better, in fewer characters and themes, with fewer having supernatural powers and the visual aspects of characters involved being more believable with more humans and almost an absence of monsters.
That’s why I said I would like to hear Emily speak if I were to meet her, and Anyone else There (both words properly capitalized) who wanted my attention, well, they could wait.
And you know what? I meant every single word of that. Then, and now still.
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.