GREAT streets of silence led away
To neighborhoods of pause;
Here was no notice, no dissent,
No universe, no laws.
By clocks ’t was morning, and for night~Emily Dickinson
The bells at distance called;
But epoch had no basis here,
For period exhaled.
How do you write about nothing? How do you imagine it–how is it even possible to conceive of? Dickinson’s description in this poem reminds me of Ursula K. LeGuin’s depiction of the land of the dead in her Earthsea books.
Both LeGuin and Dickinson conceive of death as a paradoxical place of nowhereness, a thing of nothing.