Sunday, April 30, 2006

A poem

The Experiment

Morning means just Risk- to the Lover-
Just revelation- to the Beloved

Epicures-date a Breakfast- by it
Brides-an Apocalypse-
Worlds- a Flood-
Faint-going Lives-Their Lapse from Sighing-
Faith-the Experiment of Our Lord-

Emily Dickinson

What does morning mean to you? Any of these things? Is dawn the beginning of a new experiment for you? Or will things stay just the same as the day, the week, the month, the year, the life before?

Does daylight bring hope, sadness, guilt, or something else quite different?

I took my first pause over the first line "just Risk- to the Lover"; An anxious lover who meticulously plans out in his head, each second of the next passionate meeting with the woman he'd like to be intimate with just now.

The second pause came for me at "revelation- to the Beloved". I am so loved by the One I longed to be loved by. I feel all that love at this moment, giving me freedom to see that which I've never known before.

A third stop at "epicure". That was the delightful breakfast we ate perfectly baked blueberry scones with lemon curd and freshly whipped cream.

The longest pause for me came at "the Bride- an Apocolypse". Is this the morning after her wedding? Does apocolypse always signify something regrettable? If so, is it the loss of innocence in the case of a new bride? If an apocalypse is simply a dynamic discovery, then what does this morning speak to her?

Faint? I do not experience the morning in this way, and I'd sigh for sure if I did.

What do you think of Emily referring to morning as "Faith- the Experiment of our Lord"? Does this offend or ring true?


Scott said...

"MORNING" means "Milking" to the Farmer,
Dawn to the Apennines–
Dice to the Maid.
"Morning" means just Chance to the Lover–
Just Revelation to the Beloved.
Epicures date a breakfast by it!
Heroes a battle,
The Miller a flood,
Faint-going eyes their lapse
From sighing,
Faith, the Experiment of our Lord!

That's the text I have, True. It has some interesting differences and I'm wondering if you have an earlier publication of the poem. One reason for my suspicion is that it seems that "Brides - an Apocalypse -" is a repetition of "Just Revelation to the Beloved" though there are some interesting implications when both are included.

It's a great poem, and a great meditative poem.

Morning means walking to me, and then children and juice and cereal. I don't think about the hope of each new day as I should. Life blurs, one day into the next. I need to be more aware. Adding morning prayers, such as the Liturgy of the Hours or the BCP, into my routine would open my eyes to, and better prepare me for, each new day.

"Faith, the Experiment of our Lord!" is an interesting line. My first thought is how each new day has various meanings and non-meanings for different people and how the Lord simply, by Chance or Risk, throws Himself into the fray. He offers Himself. And, in a sense, His offering is an Experiment - it is something that is known in the going, in the doing. It is handled and mis-handled differently by different people. It is the proclamation of His love, and, anthropomorphically speaking, He does not know whether His love will be requited.

Anyway, some initial reflections.

truevyne said...

Scott, interesting differences. My text comes from _The Bridge of Stars_ book (365 meditations etc.)I got for my birthday. Perhaps if you leave post it notes all over the house, you'll get a copy for Father's Day from your beloved.
I love morning, because it's a new creation. I don't do this every last day, but I love to open scripture first thing before my feet hit the floor and see if some discovery awaits.
Days used to endlessly run together for me when I had diapers to change and nursing to do. I think it had much to do with sleep deprivation and not living in community.

Kat said...

The poet sadly failed to mention that morning means abject misery for us night owls. Even if someone writes "Arise, shine, for thy light has come!" on the face of your alarm clock with a permanent marker, you still can't hit the snooze button too many times. :)

truevyne said...

Dear Kat,
I wish that particular alarm clock still existed, but I had to turn it in for one with much LARGER RED numbers a mostly blind person can read at night.
Nevertheless, you still appear in my dreams.