During the recent hearings to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of the United State, I posted the poems below as some of our site's Featured Poems of the Week.
By Emmett Lee Dickinson:
Could they – then – shut the door –
Leave her beseeching face – and facts –
Protective – be – of Him?
By Emily Dickinson:
Could I – then – shut the door –
Lest my beseeching face – at last –
Rejected – be – of Her?
Washerst, PA (the birthplace of Emmett Lee Dickinson), celebrates its Déjà Vu Days on the first and second weekends of November. The annual event commemorate two early meetings of the Dickinson Organization of Poetry Enthusiasts (DOPE). Information is HERE.
This year, though, the feeling of déjà vu came a little early as another alleged sexual deviant received a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. The old, white men of the US Senate pushed through the nomination of Kavanaugh. Past facts just didn’t matter. It was very reminiscent of the past hearings for Clarence Thomas.
This called to mind Emmett Lee Dickinson’s short poem “Could they – then – shut the door" (above on the right). Dickinson’s poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem, “Could I – then – shut the door" (above on the left).
Below: Trump met with Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas at the Hooters in Washington, DC, so that Thomas could give Kavanaugh some pointers for the Senate hearings.
By Emmett Lee Dickinson:
ice when the world is mad--
vicious the little
grumble fear fully
and donaldandbrett come
running from misdeeds and
lecheries and it's
when the world is prickly-irritable
old senators grumble
fear ful ly
and christineandanita come telling
from past-lives and me-too and
By E. E. Cummings:
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
when the world is puddle-wonderful
old baloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
More on my feeling of déjà vu:
I had quite a significant feeling of déjà vu this past week when Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It felt like I was back in 1991 when Anita Hill told her story about a sexual predator – one who later received a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
The whole affair reminded me of an unusual poem written by Emmett Lee Dickinson in 1853 called “injustice" (above on the left). Dickinson wrote several variations of this poem, and one or more of the adaptations inspired E. E. Cummings to pen his poem “inJust spring" (above on the right).
To this day, mystery surrounds much of what motivated Dickinson to write this poem, but his words certainly take on new and powerful meanings in 2018.