THE MOON was but a chin of gold
A night or two ago,
And now she turns her perfect face
Upon the world below.
Her forehead is of amplest blond;
Her cheek like beryl stone;
Her eye unto the summer dew
The likest I have known.
Her lips of amber never part;
But what must be the smile
Upon her friend she could bestow
Were such her silver will!
And what a privilege to be
But the remotest star!
For certainly her way might pass
Beside your twinkling door.
Her bonnet is the firmament,
The universe her shoe,
The stars the trinkets at her belt,
Her dimities of blue.
I wanted to find a moon poem for today, because with the Super Wolf Blood Moon coming tonight, it just felt appropriate. But I also wanted something about friendship, and I think this fits the bill there, too.
This is one of very few Dickinson poems that I feel I can understand on surface level. The narrator is musing on the moon; just a few nights ago, it was a crescent; now it’s full and bright and beautiful. The narrator describes the moon like a friend. She’s beautiful, yes, but the descriptions here don’t really veer into romantic, in my opinion. It’s more like looking at your beautiful friend and feeling lucky to be in her presence.
I’m feeling lucky for a lot of things this year. Lucky that I’m alive during a Super Wolf Blood Moon, which sounds so much like a 1980s cartoon I’m not sure it wasn’t actually one; lucky that I have a warm house to stand in while I peer through the window in my actual in-house library. Lucky to have too many books in my to-read pile. Lucky to have friends in all facets of my life–at church and at work, friends past and friends newer, friends I see around town and friends I know through the internet only.
I have a friend named Brenna. She’s an amazing mother to two smart, hilarious kids. She’s an accomplished baker. She’s a middle school French teacher, which means that she is infinitely patient. She is beautiful. She keeps bees and chickens, thereby making her basically a superhero and witch, and I mean those in the best way. She writes about beauty and pain and strength and makes me believe in all of this and more. She has an encouraging word for every disaster. She has excellent taste in books, jigsaw puzzles, chocolate, and tea. She makes my days better. She is my friend.
I hope that you have a friend like Brenna; I hope that you have somebody you look at the way this poem sees the moon.