What mystery pervades a well!
The water lives so far,
Like neighbor from another world
Residing in a jar.

The grass does not appear afraid;
I often wonder he
Can stand so close and look so bold
At what is dread to me.

Related somehow they may be,—
The sedge stands next the sea,
Where he is floorless, yet of fear
No evidence gives he.

But nature is a stranger yet;
The ones that cite her most
Have never passed her haunted house,
Nor simplified her ghost.

To pity those that know her not
Is helped by the regret
That those who know her, know her less
The nearer her they get.

~Emily Dickinson

Dickinson’s description of the well is evocative and powerful. It is a thing of mystery, otherworldly. Words like “afraid,” “dread,” “fear,” “stranger,” “haunted,” and “ghost” paint a vivid picture of the speaker’s visceral response to the well. It is mysterious, terrifying, alien, even though it is part of nature.

Compare this to yesterday’s poem, in which Dickinson uses a well as a metaphor for marriage–marriage is the dropping of a life into a well. What do you think? Are these poems meant to speak to each other?

One thought on “…well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s