these are the timesdirty beloved



The Deadly Sins/Despair;The One Unforgivable Sin

Yet there remains a persistent counterimpulse, an irresistible tug toward stasis and toward those truths that, in Melville's words, will not be comforted. At the antipode of American exuberance and optimism there is the poet's small, still, private voice, the voice of individual conscience; the voice, for instance, of Dickinson, who, like Rainer Maria Rilke and Gerard Manley Hopkins, mined the ideal vocabulary for investigating those shifting, penumbral states of consciousness that do, in the long run, constitute our lives. Whatever our public identities may be, whatever our official titles, our heralded or derided achievements and the statistics that accrue to us like cobwebs, this is the voice we trust. For, if despair's temptations can be resisted, surely we become more human and compassionate, more like one another in our common predicament.
Joyce Carol Oates/NYTimes 25.Jul.93
There is a pain - so utter -
It swallows +substance up -
Then covers the Abyss with Trance -
So Memory can step
Around - Across - upon it -
As One within A Swoon -
Goes +safely - where an Open Eye -
Would drop Him - Bone by Bone
Emily Dickinson
Dickinson Electronic Archives

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