Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Emily Dickinson's Nature Mysticism : A Photo Poetic Labyrinth
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Circuit IV - (27) Nature Is What We See (J-0668) (F-0721)

(1) Nature is what we see,    
The Hill, the Afternoon —
(2) Squirrel, Eclipse, the Bumble-bee,
Nay — Nature is Heaven.

(3) Nature is what we hear,    
The Bobolink, the Sea —
(4) Thunder, the Cricket —
Nay — Nature is Harmony.

(5) Nature is what we know    
But have no Art to say,
(6) So impotent our Wisdom is
To Her Simplicity.

(Below: an original manuscript version
without editing or imposed lineation.)


(1) "Nature" is what  
we see –
The Hill – the
Afternoon –
(2) Squirrel – Eclipse –  
the Bumble bee –
Nay – Nature is
Heaven –
(3) Nature is what  
we hear –
The Bobolink –
the Sea –
(4) Thunder – the  
Cricket –
Nay – Nature is
Harmony –
(5) Nature is what  
we know –
Yet have no art
to say –
(6) So impotent our  
Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

~ Emily Dickinson

Commentary adapted from Emily Dickinson's Poems & Letters
(1-2) "The Bible must have had us in mind, when it gave
that liquid Commandment [Behold the lilies of the field!] . . .
Your account of the Lilies was so fresh I could almost pick
them." ~ (L #897) (Biblical ref: Matthew 6:28-29)
(1-6) "How strange that Nature does not knock and yet
does not intrude! ~ (L #510)
(1-6) "The single flower of the Earth that I, in passing by
unconscious was — [that is] Great Nature's Face
passed infinite by me." ~ (J-0978) (F-0843)
(3-4) "September's Baccalaureate a combination is of crickets —
crows — and retrospects and a dissembling breeze."
~ (J-1271) (F-1313)
(3-4) "The tapestries of Paradise so notelessly — are made!"
~ (J-0278) (F-0306)
(5-6) "Four trees — upon a solitary acre — without Design
or order, or apparent action — maintain —"
(J-0742) (Fr-0778)
(5-6) "These are the visions baffled Guido — Titian never told —
Domenichino dropped the pencil — powerless to unfold."
~ (J-0291) (F-0327)
(5-6)
This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me —
The simple News that Nature told —
With tender Majesty

Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see —
For love of Her — Sweet — countrymen —
Judge tenderly — of Me
~ (J-0441) (F-0519)
(6) "Nature, that Sweet Parishioner, trust her." (Fragment #91)
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~ Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)