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"If there is any one reason to single out artists as
being more necessary to our lives than any others,
it is because they provide us with light that cannot
be extinguished. They go into dark rooms and poke at
their souls until the contours of our own are familiar
to us. They stare at flowers until their secrets unfold,
wrestle with angels that the rest of us are terrified
to disturb."

— Phyllis Theroux, The Book of Eulogies.

Emily Dickinson wrote more than 1700 poems.
About 10 were published in her lifetime. She
was truly writing for the stars — the "transport
of the aim."

A great Hope fell
You heard no noise
The Ruin was within
Oh cunning wreck that told no tale
And let no witness in

The mind was built for mighty Freight
For dread occasion planned
How often foundering at Sea
Ostensibly, on Land

A not admitting of the wound
Until it grew so wide
That all my Life had entered it
And there were troughs beside

A closing of the lid
That opened to the sun
Until the tender Carpenter
Perpetual nail it down —

[Johnson: 1123]

I fit for them —
I seek the Dark
Till I am thorough fit.
The labor is a sober one
With this sufficient sweet
That abstinence of mine produce
A purer food for them, if I succeed,
If not I had
The transport of the aim —

[Johnson: 1109]

I felt a funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading — treading — till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through —

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum —
Kept beating — beating — till I thought
My mind was going numb —

And then I heard them lift a Box,
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space — began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here —

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down —
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing — then —

[Johnson: 280]

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