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This report is taken from PN Review 221, Volume 41 Number 3, January - February 2015.

Personal Readings: Emily Dickinson Thomas Kinsella
Two Poems by Emily Dickinson, on the Same Theme


I am ashamed – I hide –
What right have I – to be a Bride –
So late a Dowerless Girl –
Nowhere to hide my dazzled Face –
No one to teach me that new Grace –                  5
Nor introduce – my Soul –

Me to adorn – How – tell –
Trinket – to make Me beautiful –
Fabrics of Cashmere –
Never a Gown of Dun – more –                         10
Raiment instead – of Pompadour –
For Me – My soul – to wear –

Fingers – to frame my Round Hair
Oval – as Feudal Ladies wore –
Far Fashions – Fair –                                       15
Skill – to hold my Brow like an Earl –
Plead – like a Whippoorwill –
Prove – like a Pearl –
Then, for Character –

Except the Heaven had come so near –              20
So seemed to choose My Door –
The Distance would not haunt me so –
I had not hoped – before –

But just to hear the Grace depart –
I never thought to see –                                  25
Afflicts me with a Double loss –
’Tis lost – And lost to me –

Stanza 1
ll. 1–4
Image of a bride excited and uneasy at the thought of matrimony; ashamed at the idea of ...

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