Wednesday, August 30, 2023

"The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants" by Emily Dickinson

(1) [Poem as written by the poet on the inside of an envelope]

(2) [Poem as it appears in the Franklin reading edition]

The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants -
At Evening, it is not
At Morning, in a Truffled Hut
It stop opon a Spot

As if it tarried always
And yet it's whole Career
Is shorter than a Snake's Delay -
And fleeter than a Tare -

'Tis Vegetation's Juggler -
The Germ of Alibi -
Doth like a Bubble antedate
And like a Bubble, hie -

I feel as if the Grass was pleased
To have it intermit -
This surreptitious Scion
Of Summer's circumspect.

Had Nature any supple Face
Or could she one contemn -
Had Nature an Apostate -
That Mushroom - it is Him!

Sources of the text - (1) The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems, edited by Marta L. Werner and Jen Bervin.  New York: New Directions, 2013.  (2) The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition, edited by Ralph W. Franklin. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998, p. 631.

TJB: Shroom ode. The poet, this time a lighthearted mycologist-bard, gives us her 13 ways of looking at a fungus, using psychotropic syntax.

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