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Dickinson home - Amherst, Ma

Send me e-mail - robert15115@gmail.com
Robert Jackson

This is the poem for the week of August 25.
A new interlinear poem is available each Monday.


Many a phrase has the English language

-Emily Dickinson


Many a phrase has the English language.
I have heard but one,
Low as the laughter of a cricket,
Loud as the thunder's tongue,

Murmuring like old Caspian choirs
Caspian choirs=sounds of the sea (Caspian Sea)
When the tide's a' lull,
tide's a' lull=ebb tide, when the sea is quietest
Saying itself in new inflection
Saying itself=saying the same phrase
Like a whippoorwill,

Breaking in bright orthography
orthography=visual representation of the one phrase
On my simple sleep,
Thundering its prospective
prospective=influence on the future
Till I stir and weep

Not for the sorrow done me
done me=caused me
But the push of joy.
Say it again, Saxon!
Saxon=Anglo-Saxon language
Hush - only to me!
only to me - she doesn't reveal what this one phrase is
Many a phrase has the English language.
I have heard but one,
Low as the laughter of a cricket,
Loud as the thunder's tongue,

Murmuring like old Caspian choirs
When the tide's a' lull,
Saying itself in new inflection
Like a whippoorwill,

Breaking in bright orthography
On my simple sleep,
Thundering its prospective
Till I stir and weep

Not for the sorrow done me
But the push of joy.
Say it again, Saxon!
Hush - only to me!