Emily Dickinson’s Encounters with the Sublime

© Copyright 2013, Margaret Langstaff, All Rights Reserved.

                    

                    Nature and God – I neither knew

                   Yet Both so well knew me

                   They startled, like Executors

                   Of My identity.—E.D.

Dickinson wrote and sent this poem ("A Ro...

Dickinson wrote and sent this poem (“A Route to Evanescence”) to Thomas Higginson in 1880. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve read, studied and written about Emily Dickinson’s poetry on and off for over thirty years, my serious interest and examination of it beginning long ago in graduate school and resulting in my master’s thesis. Like a dog with a good bone, though, I wouldn’t let it go even then and continued research and scholarly reading on Dickinson during the rest of my academic studies and when those days were finally over, I found it had become not only a matter of taste and fascination, but—for lack of a better word, a habit. One would think my interest would have begun to pale at this point—if not wane—and  or be eclipsed and replaced by more recent “obsessive” interests in the work of other authors, especially considering my wide ranging reading of contemporary authors and my frequent re-reading of the classic big names of  “yore.” But to me, and I know I’m not alone, Dickinson is inexhaustibly fascinating and just never wears out. Quite the opposite, in fact, the pleasures and treasures of her best work only increase for the reader and student with time, repeated exposure and further close readings.

It is though a little amazing to me that I keep coming back to her poetry for not only familiar delights in revisiting my favorite Dickinson poems, but also that I continue to discover previously unimagined and unappreciated wonders and insights in Dickinson work that had not yielded up in the past to me anything very remarkable or poetically dense and deft in her technique. Not all of her poems are all that great, and many that some scholars call “poems” are really only drafts, notes, jottings that she dashed off in a hurry and stuffed away in her bureau drawer,  never fully developing or revising. Such are the perils for misunderstanding for a poet who does not publish widely in her lifetime. But the ones that are great, well, they are really great, timeless and completely unique and original, disclosing intellectual and emotional insights about human life in an unforgettable way and about everything under the sun.

And true to say—and true confession time—my own first encounter with Emily Dickinson as a college sophomore Literature major was a life-changing event. I knew I was a writer, had always known it, and had received encouragement aplenty. I had always loved writing with total abandon and aspired, over the course of my lifetime, to write dazzling lasting literary masterpieces. But until I bumped into Emily Dickinson in an American Lit survey course as an undergrad, I’d not found a major author to whom I could closely relate on a personal level— one that made me sit up with a shock of recognition and  say, “Hey! What’s this?  She’s a lot like me temperamentally, and  her social and familial circumstances and pedigree were to my sophomoric unsophisticated mind eerily and uncannily similar. On top of that this was  a poet whose work also knocked my socks off with its arresting unusual style and manner. That initial intro to Dickinson launched me, inspired me to get on with it, to make a full commitment to the dream, and start writing seriously—immediately.

What’s more, I was primed and susceptible to such suggestion and imaginative leap vis-à-vis a kind of kinship with her because poetry has always been my favorite genre and first love, though I later turned to writing fiction eventually (mainly because few in the reading public bothered with poetry at the time as it had become obtuse, disaffected, difficult and unmusical (and thus entirely forgettable, not worth the effort for most people).

All of this is very odd, even peculiar to me at this vantage point in my life and career for a number of reasons, perhaps the greatest of which is that I have never written anything remotely similar to Dickinson’s style, manner or approach to her subjects.  In fact, that icon of modern letters and lit, his eminence gris William Gass when he was my mentor at a writers’ workshop many years ago clapped his hands in delight after reading some of my early poems and dubbed me a ringer for Dame Edith Sitwell; he thought this was a compliment, I did not.  Not not not.  I felt the room spin, the ground move under my feet and fell into a deep trough of despond that lasted for almost a year, unable to write anything or even look at myself in a mirror for more than a few seconds.  That’s another story for another time.

Where were we? Oh yes. Poetry! The one really important literary conviction that I shared with Dickinson then and which remains unchanged to this day is that the genre is the highest and most effectual of all the literary arts.  For I couldn’t have said it better myself if I had indeed endited the following quaint sounding (today) apologia for it myself:

“I dwell in Possibility –

A fairer House than Prose –

More numerous of Windows –

Superior – for Doors – ”

[etcetera, exultantly-effusively-ennervatingly] ….

“Of Visitors – the fairest –

For Occupation – This –

The spreading wide my narrow Hands

To gather Paradise –  ”

Odd thinking about all of that adolescent imagined Dickinson collegiality and tutelege today. At this stage I could no more want to write like her than I could desire to write like Chaucer or Sir Walter Scott. And for lack of attention-promotion (public readings, hustling) on my part, as I moved onto other projects, all of my poems are out of print right now (Closure was the last book). Whatever the case, time stumbles on and for a long time I resisted the poetic impulse, forcing myself to write stories and novels instead. Not that I didn’t and don’t enjoy writing narratives enormously, for I do very much, but fiction was not my natural métier, I thought back then. Moreover, I was convinced (and still am) that poetry could take you places no other literary form could, that certain immutable truths could only be discovered and imparted by great poetry. If I’d had my druthers, I’d not experimented with other forms and never would have become accomplished with them. Ghostwriting (on a contract basis and employed by publishers) for political figures and household names got me started with narrative and I transitioned in a few years to writing stories and novels under my own name, fiction fueled by the engine of my own imagination, not trying to translate others’ “plots” and “concepts” into books that would sell automatically because the putative “author” lent his/her name to them, that is, had a “platform,” name recognition and following.

But I’m glad I did learn the narrative craft as a journeyman in the employ of publishing professionals who taught me what worked and didn’t, what makes for a good story and credible characters and the rest of it. Nevertheless, I still think poetry is the highest form of literature, the purest. But every writer wants to be read. It’s a well-accepted fact in publishing that fiction “sells,” poetry doesn’t (much), and I do love spinning yarns and telling “stories” about truths, even if they are a more diffuse, diluted—watered down—avenue to The Point, which is to render life’s signal issues and experiences in a meaningful way and transcend the dross of the ordinary, reaching for something ultimate and eternal that makes life bearable and even joyful.

Enough deep background and disclosure blather, and more to the point of this particular post—As I mentioned earlier here several days ago, Dickinson’s “nature” poems have always had an especially strong fascination for me, particularly because I intuit that she and I share some of the same sensations and characteristic responses to the teeming, wriggling and stupefying surprising natural world. Whatever the case, I “connect” on some deep level with what she says in them and many have become personally aphoristic to me, have metamorphosed into perdurable truisms about Life Writ Large. By this stage I probably have assimilated and filed away in my head thousands of lines of Dickinson poetry that pop into consciousness at appropriate occasions. It’s funny how that works with great poetry: out of nowhere at just the right time, poof, a humdinger on target phrase,  a line or stanza, will emerge from some dark dank brain cubby hole spontaneously like a paranormal wraith, as an assist or guide to one’s current situation or pressing events to help one understand, cope or navigate. That’s the miracle of great poetry. It sticks and sticks with you—much of it unconsciously. Anyway, be that as it may, rattling on here, Dickinson continues to supply certain critical life enhancing words that I actually live by, having stuffed so many into my cranium for so many years, and I not infrequently summon snatches of it to use to relate to the “great outdoors,” to parse what my senses are telling me empirically, and to enjoy it.

A curious and distinctive aspect of many of her poems about the natural world is the consistency with which she casts herself at the outset of such a poem as an unsuspecting innocent or naïf—it’s a kind of coy pose she assumes as a “little school girl,” someone vulnerable and unprepared for what happens as the poem progresses. There is a fairy tale quality, something of a “Little Red Riding Hood” or babe in the woods motif in the first stanza or so of all of these “nature” go-adventuring poems in which the poet saunters forth into the “wilds” of nature intent on satisfying her idle curiosity about something or another, and, as the poem moves along, realizes she had no clue about what she was risking or getting into, the “danger” she had put her preconceptions and sensibilities into by going on what was for her initially a lark, taking a flyer on something, saying sort of “Why not?”

In a dramatic reversal of her initial posture and attitude, the action in the following verses deals with stunning and often frightening new knowledge she gains.  Usually in the course of these poems what she in fact eventually finds or discovers is shocking apprehension of the mysterium et tremendum inherent in the natural world (a subject treated by philosopher and linguist Ernst Cassirer and other scholars of myth and the sacred.  That is, a shuddering recognition of the awe inspiring  divine essence, the life force that underlies all things or in more common parlance, what religionists call God. The unexpected chance encounter literally flips the poet’s mental and emotional circuit breakers, knocks out her every fuse, shatters all her mundane preconceptions and just totally blows her mind. It spins her around, lifts her up, gobbles up her tiny silly self, and leaves her not only humbled but also paradoxically much enlarged, for it has provided her with a new and deeper appreciation of the sanctity of life and the shocking and terrifying realization that her life is not her own but only a part of something infinitely larger and more significant, something of immense and momentous import.

In a very peculiar and revealing way, these poems are also at the same time frequently amusing, witty and self-deprecating, for as each poem comes to a close, in retrospect, looking back at the naiveté’ she had at the beginning of her excursion into uncharted territory, terra incognito, the great unknown, essentially she is critically implying, aghast, “Go figure! What a moron I was! Gads! What a bonehead! I just had no freaking idea!”

Boiling it down, what actually “happens” in these poems is a kind of emotional sacred rapture and ecstasy as her sense of “self” is suddenly caught up, overwhelmed and engulfed by what would appear to be  the almighty, inscrutable Pulse at the heart of Life Itself.  For, reeling with shock and awe, Dickinson makes clear she sensed the divine maker in these dislocating and all-encompassing experiences and these poems are her feeble, flawed attempt to chronicle her nature “adventures” and describe as best she could the luminosity and numinosity she perceived, or was granted, almost as a mystical vision. This is not news in Dickinson studies.  Dickinson scholars, even the earliest, picked it up right away. And anyone familiar with the Christian, Buddhist or Sufi mystics will recognize the feelings she tries to capture and convey in the poems, feelings which are often frustratingly unapproachable in words, intuitions fundamentally ineffable and resistant to rational thought and categories, and they will also understand the intense thrill she feels as she is “swallowed up” by these rare and wonderful encounters with the sublime. In the instances occasioned by these particular poems in her oeuvre she frequently employed the imagery and figurative language of physical “ravishment” by a lover along with religious imagery to try to impart to the reader the intense spiritual-physical-intellectual aspect of the encounter, however transient and evanescent, an all-encompassing pleasure coincident in these moments.

A Caveat is in order here. Don’t be misled and take the sexual allusions literally, you 21st century readers; all mystics have used it down through the ages, from time immemorial, to try to describe how they felt at this moment of “union” with the divine at the center of  the universe, including St. John of the Cross no less.

The following poem is representative of this one vein in Dickinson’s poetic impulse and imagination, is typical of this motif and structure, and is cast, I think, as a kind of personal fable that renders for her and the astute reader the quite ancient and universal paradigm of enlightenment, the rare glimpse of eternity, the wink and blink of the Eternal Now in which we swim during our lives but all too rarely see or feel, albeit in the somewhat colloquial language of mid-nineteenth century New England. But this was her consistent style. Dickinson never tried to be anything other than what she was in her verse and, as she said on more than one occasion, “The Robin’s my Criterion for Tune – /Because I grow – where Robins do –  . . . /Because I see New Englandly – “   Even her verse forms are simple quatrains in the meter and roughly the rhyme scheme of the common nineteenth century church hymnals. She was not presumptuous and did not “put on airs,” behavior that would have been considered atrocious and roundly ridiculed in her place and time. Although highly educated and well read, and from a prominent well to do family, Dickinson took a dim view of Avant guarde anything and everything from a stylistic standpoint. Her accomplishment was to take up the ordinary, the “materials” at hand, and transform them into the extraordinary though imaginative sleights of hand, startling juxtapositions and revelatory realignments. She was sly and subtle at this and never failed to surprise by over-turning the well-worn apple carts with a deceptively simple

The Dickinson children (Emily on the left), ca...

The Dickinson children (Emily on the left), ca. 1840. From the Dickinson Room at Houghton Library, Harvard University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

yet wholly original well-turned phrase. Yet how much she was able to do with the somewhat homespun parochial lingua franca of her age and locale and still invest it with such beauty and significance that persists to this day for readers the world over is certainly the hallmark of only the greatest poets.

A bit of a pedantic windy prologue here to the following poem, and I apologize, but all too often I see Dickinson poems in blog posts and elsewhere online that are offered up without any background or intro and I bothered with the foregoing in the hopes of increasing your understanding, appreciation and pleasure in this interesting signature type of a Dickinson “nature” poem.

As a last side note, a bit of trivia, I’ll just mention that Emily Dickinson had for many years a big beloved bear of a dog named “Carlo;” she mentioned him often in her letters and he is featured as a boon companion in several of her poems. He lived to be 17 years old, trotting along beside her, lying and sleeping at her feet and beside her bed, watching her every move no doubt with the large soulful caring brown eyes only a good ole dog possesses. I’m sure she was thinking of Carlo and alluded to him at the outset of this poem.

I STARTED EARLY – TOOK MY DOG

I started Early – Took my Dog –

And visited the Sea –

The Mermaids in the Basement

Came out to look at me –

And Frigates – in the Upper Floor

Extended Hempen Hands –

Presuming Me to be a Mouse –

Aground – upon the Sands –

But no Man moved Me – till the Tide

Went past my simple Shoe –

And past my Apron – and my Belt

And past my Bodice – too –

And made as He would eat me up –

As wholly as a Dew

Upon a Dandelion’s Sleeve –

And then – I started – too –

And He – He followed – close behind –

I felt His Silver Heel

Upon my Ankle – Then my Shoes

Would overflow with Pearl –

Until We met the Solid Town –

No One He seemed to know –

And bowing – with a Mighty look –

At me – The Sea withdrew –

–EMILY DICKINSON, c. 1862

[Afterword—Note how “The Sea,” the majesty and numinous transcendence over the quotidian and conventional, and union with the all comprehensive  oneness or force of life, withdraws at her approach to civilization,  its conventions and the bland mores of society, e.g., “the Solid Town – ”  Also—how it scares the wits out of her and she “started” (being startled out of her mind) and fled, ran away from it, terrified it would swallow her, “eat” her up. Very interesting poem. Like an onion, lots of layers!

Some other exemplar Dickinson poems (there are many, but just to name a few) in the same mode and treating of similar illuminating moments in the natural world, poems that recount similar experiences and revelations with the characteristic development and structure, that you may appreciate: “I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed” (#214), “I’ll Tell You How the Sun Rose” (#318), “My Life Had Stood – A Loaded Gun” (#754), “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” (#986),  “Summer – We All Have Seen” (#1386) ]

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger.
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30 Responses to Emily Dickinson’s Encounters with the Sublime

  1. Beautiful work, Margaret. I’m pulling out my old anthology pronto…

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  2. J.B. Long says:

    Thank you for sharing this poem with such a wonderful introduction/explication. I especially enjoyed “My Life Had Stood–A Loaded Gun” and “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass”. I was tickled by how she rhymes “cordiality” in the latter. It seems I haven’t exposed myself to Dickinson as much as I should have, and I’m happy to be doing so now.

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  3. Mathew Paust says:

    Fascinating and invaluable re-introduction to a poet I’ve woefully neglected since my school days. Margaret, would that I had had a teacher with your insight, knowledge of and love for Dickinson’s work.

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    • Agree. Mailer is not my “cup of tea” but he did take the risks (heroic, necessary, dangerous) requisite for breaking new ground and achieving work of real originality and lasting significance.One has to respect him for that. I don’t know that “harmony” is the word I’d use though to describe their countervailing, opposite approaches and styles when placed side by side for appraisal. I think of positive and negative electrical ions instead, both of which are necessary–and which create energy when coupled, not to say sparks, fires and sometimes explosions.

      Funny, but I suspect each would consider the other a hideous human deviant and worthless guide to the aesthetic empyrean or Mt. Olympus. But they can duke it out for all eternity in the Great Elsewhere for all I care. They’ve had their chance and their say. So: Pace! RIP! “The rest is silence.”.

      If I had to choose, I’ll take Dickinson. She never beat anybody up, got repeatedly drunk in public or chronically made an ass out of herself propelled by raging gender specific hormones (as far as I know), which is some indication that she was more sane, astute and in touch (unmediated by anodynes and anesthetics) with what we call the human condition. (smirk, sniff-sniff)

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      • Mathew Paust says:

        Yeah, but out there in the Great (or Lesser) Elsewhere, the hormones would be a mere figment of remembrance, if that. It was their approach to language, the pushing of boundaries to reach a surprising insight that I think they’d respect in each other. Not that they were unique in this regard, of course, but I’m thinking of their virtually opposite approaches to life — her reclusiveness, his profligacy — they were practically bookends, a yin/yang presence in our literary consciousness, Not unique, that, either, yet it was their utter reverence for linguistic nuance, naked and clothed, that brings them together in my mind. In this context, anyway. Perhaps their spirits are ravishing each other.

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        • Good points well made. Garrison Keillor or somebody like that years ago did a skit on NPR of Thoreau putting the moves on Dickinson when she went to visit him at his cabin on Walden Pond (or maybe he went to Amherst and called on her, can’t remember right now), but her reaction to his overtures as limned in the skit made me howl with surprise and fun. What a riot it was. Such a gas. I think it culminated in her crawling under his bed to flee/hide. Nobody could get her to come out for days. Caricatures of both, burlesques, gross exaggerations of their quirks, yeah, but sooo hysterical. Mailer (!), whew, good God!!! He would have made her swallow her tongue and have a gran mal seizure. What a hoot that would be.

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          • Mathew Paust says:

            I can hear Keillor’s droll narrative and his hammy actors, altho it’s a tad hard to imagine Sue Scott toning it down enuf to keep from making ED sound like Kitty in the Long Branch Saloon. Have you read Some Came Running (James Jones)? The poet is based on ED. One of my favorite books when I read it the first time, and not quite so compelling on second read. But that was after the movie, in which Martha Hyer played the ED character (Gwen French) opposite Sinatra. Not as badly cast or acted as it might seem. This was before Sinatra’s “Rat Pack” days. The movie

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          • Mathew Paust says:

            Smiling, as I imagine Keillor’s droll narrative, but wondering if Sue Scott could play ED subtly enuf to avoid coming across as Kitty of Long Branch Saloon fame. Have you read Some Came Running (James Jones)? He based his poet character, Gwen French, on ED. I thought at the time I first read the novel the portrayal was admiring and poignant. One of my favorite reads first time around. Not as moved by my second reading, after watching the movie version, which cast Martha Hyer as Gwen opposite Sinatra’s Dave Hirsh and wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. Altho the cast included Dean Martin this was before their “Rat Pack” days and Sinatra’s performance wasn’t half bad, as I recall.

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            • I haven’t read any of Jones, but after your incisive cross-cultural multi-genre analysis, Matt, I will be sure to pick up SOME CAME RUNNING. Poor ED, ignored all her life, she is now just everywhere as a kind of “type.” Most of which is pure b.s. and way off the mark. Few take the time to go beyond the myths that abound and discover her as a real flesh and blood person in a given time and place who wrote totally original distinctive poetry

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  4. Josh, the “loaded gun” poem you mention has fascinated yet confounded and confused readers and scholars since its first publication (long after Dickinson’s death)–because it makes no sense if it is not taken in the context of this vulnerability-potentiality she had with respect to the spiritus mundi implicit and very alive (she felt) in the natural world. She suggests in her letters and in some of her poems that some persons, herself included, have the sensitivity and sensibilities to be “available” to its intimations and infusions of the grace of insight and so are able to apprehend it at certain moments (which always pass). She tries to bring back the “news” and reality of its existence–and the thrill of the experiences–to the rest of the world in these poems, I think. Much more to this whole subject, and worthy of interest/exploration, but will have to cover in other posts perhaps

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    • Lonie Fulgham says:

      I particularly disagreed with the analysis connected to the copy I read. Maybe I’ll find some time to take a closer look at it myself. I always enjoy reading your posts.

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  5. lahowlett says:

    Just about all of Dickinson’s work has been recorded multiple times on LibriVox. I discovered that a young filmmaker had used my reading of one of her poems (“I heard a fly buzz…”) for a film contest. You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2HXOoCVKuM

    A little creepy but I’ve grown to like it. 🙂

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  6. Bottom line, I guess, the physical reality of morbidity, dying, the death of a person and the resultant decay/decomposition of the corpse was an ever present reality, a fact of life, that mid-nineteenth century Americans (and ppl the world over then) faced all the time. They did all kinds of things to “whiff” things away, keep life hopeful and bright, in the face of it, however.

    Mark Twain wrote the most hilarious, side-splitting story showcasing the typical efforts and lengths “gentle” folks went to back then to keep the memory of the person and his/her life “alive,” while watching a person’s physical disintegration, literally, and right under their noses. I cannot for the life of me remember the title, but when I do, I’ll post it here. It’s a stich! I howl every time I read it.

    We have sanitized the reality of death and dying in our age and I wonder, at times like this, if it’s a good thing. The reality of death seemed to serve to keep folks focused on what really matters in life, and that’s something modern man, I think, has lost.

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    • Mathew Paust says:

      If we truly believed our consciousness survived somehow after the body’s death, why then are we so terrified of the body’s death? We say, “She’s in a better place” or “He’s with her now”, but we still weep. As Big Daddy said in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, Mendacity! That’s what it is!

      Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2014 18:41:19 +0000 To: mattpaust@hotmail.com

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      • I have a handy apt ripost, as it happens, for you, Matt, compliments of cummings:

        ‘pity this busy monster, manunkind’

        pity this busy monster, manunkind,

        not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
        your victim (death and life safely beyond)

        plays with the bigness of his littleness
        — electrons deify one razorblade
        into a mountainrange; lenses extend
        unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
        returns on its unself.
        A world of made
        is not a world of born — pity poor flesh

        and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
        fine specimen of hypermagical

        ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

        a hopeless case if — listen: there’s a hell
        of a good universe next door; let’s go

        E. E. Cummings

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        • Mathew Paust says:

          Margaret, e.e. was right, of course. I wonder if he’s enjoying himself in our neighboring universe.

          Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2014 19:09:40 +0000 To: mattpaust@hotmail.com

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          • So much so, apparently, he has nothing more to add to “The Conversation.” He said his “piece” in his work, in his poems; don’t begrudge him or anyone the bliss of not having to listen and watch this burlesque anymore 😉 I can hear him saying, though, “Homo sapiens, check your bags. You’re outta here. Last call. You’re being replaced.”

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            • Mathew Paust says:

              I’m less concerned with how frequently the cleverest of our species might whip me with the logic of their insights than with whether I can continue to find surprises in the Christmas stocking of my imagination. From this vantage then I can accept ignorance as bliss. I’ll choose it over despair any old day. Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2014 19:27:53 +0000 To: mattpaust@hotmail.com

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  7. Haha, you put it all in blender, Matt, and what came out was a bandaged nerve. That’s not despair cummings was referring to, at least not despair in life writ large.

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    • Mathew Paust says:

      To me, the more exclusive the coterie to which one reaches the nearer one comes to the flawed hubris one attempts to assign to “lesser” beings. You mistake the joy I find in my cerebral “Christmas stocking surprises” (an admittedly silly metaphor) as evidence of my identity with this lower realm of being. I recognize both realms as vital to survival. I would dearly love to find the key to a perfect marriage of physical satiety and spiritual enlightenment, knowing full well the odds of such are infinitesimal if not impossible, as they spring from different ages of our evolution, and thus are natural adversaries. I’ve no doubt, though, that in order for our species to outlast its near-sighted fascination with techno “progress” a universally persuasive argument for dominant spiritual enlightenment must prevail among all–the ignoble, the booboisie, and the smug.

      Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2014 20:25:09 +0000 To: mattpaust@hotmail.com

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      • I don’t really follow all of that that, Matt, but I’m dimly aware of the fact that I may have just been been insulted, having aroused your ire (by accident), not sure though whether your affront lay in the thundering fusillade of words you fired at me or in that tiny dagger”boobsie” Your syntax here is Joycean as hell, and I still don’t care much for Ulysses, mostly because I couldn’t penetrate the sense of it, assuming there is any in it. (heresy!) All I can say is touche’, Old Sport! And–Boobsie— back atcha. 🙂 I’m all for your cerebral Christmas stocking, though I prefer candy in mine. Realms of being? got me there. I’m earthbound, hunkered down, and taking cover! Hubris! Lookout!

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  8. There’s nothing like a simple declarative sentence, every now and then. The ole Subject/verb/object rendering to clarify a point. 🙂

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