Goose and Chick, Hudson River, low tide pebbles
Emily Dickinson's Nature Mysticism : A Photo Poetic Labyrinth
Prev | Index | Next | Riverbeds (Slideshows) | Dickinson's Herbarium | Search

(Click anywhere on the garden diagram below to go to that section of the Labyrinth)
Circuit II - (13) How Happy is the Little Stone (J-1510) (F-1570)

(1) How happy is the little stone    
That rambles in the road alone,
(2) And doesn't care about careers    
And exigencies never fears —
(3) Whose coat of elemental brown    
A passing universe put on;
(4) And independent as the sun,    
Associates or glows alone,
(5) Fulfilling absolute decree    
In casual simplicity.

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


(1) How happy is  
the little Stone
That rambles
in the Road
alone,
(2) And doesn't  
care about
Careers
And Exigencies
  never fears –
(3) Whose Coat  
of elemental Brown
A passing
Universe put on,
(4) And independent  
as the Sun
Associates
or glows alone,
(5) Fulfilling absolute
Decree
In casual
    simplicity –

~ Emily Dickinson

Commentary adapted from Emily Dickinson's Poems & Letters
(1) "Little, wayfaring acts — comprise my 'pursuits' — and a few
moments at night, for books — after the rest sleep." ~ (L #450)
(1) "The Bible says very roguishly, that the 'wayfaring man, though
a fool — need not err therein.'" ~ (biblical ref. Isaiah 35:8) (L #562)
(1-2) "Heart, not so heavy as mine wending late home — as it passed my
window whistled itself a tune — a careless snatch — a ballad — a ditty
of the street . . ." ~ (J-0083) (F-0088) (ref. whistling boy, L #562)
(1-3) "I know but little of little ones, but love them very softly."
~ (L #728) (Biblical ref. Matthew 18:10)
(1-3) "The tiniest ones are the mightiest — the wren will prevail."
~ (L #564) (Biblical ref. Matthew 5:5)
(1-3) "Two things I have lost with Childhood — the rapture of losing
my shoe in the mud and going home barefoot . . ."
(Fragment #117)
(1-5) "Your riches taught me poverty. Myself a millionnaire."
~ (J-0299) (F-0418)
(1-5) "It's such a common — glory — a fisherman's — degree."
~ (J-0401) (F-0675)
(1-5) "Droughtless wells . . where mosses go no more away — and
pebble — safely plays." ~ (J-0460) (F-0695)
(1-5) "On the bleakness of my lot, bloom I strove to raise — late,
my garden of a rock yielded grape and maize."
~ (omitted in J-0681) (F-0862)
(3) "Take all away from me, but leave me Ecstasy,
And I am richer then than all my Fellow Men –
Ill it becometh me to dwell so wealthily
When at my very Door are those possessing more,
In abject poverty –
~ (J-1640) (F-1671)
(3) "I am glad the housekeeping is kinder; it is a prickly art.
Maggie is with us still, warm and wild and mighty,
and we have a gracious boy at the barn."
~ (L #907)
(4-5) "Lad of Athens, faithful be to thyself and mystery.
All the rest is perjury." ~ (J-1768) (F-1606) (L #865)
(5) "Tabby is eating a stone dinner from a stone plate." ~ (L #337)
(5) "Excuse the bleak simplicity that knew no tutor
but the North." ~ (L #368)
(1-5-comparative)
"The grass so little has to do —
A sphere of simple green,
With only butterflies, to brood
And bees, to entertain —
  * * *  
And then, to dwell in sovereign barns,
And dream the days away,
The grass so little has to do,
I wish I were a hay!"
  ~ (J-0333: stanzas 1 & 5) (F-0379)  
Search Pop-up English Dictionary for:
WordNet and Webster's 1913 Dictionary
 
 

Search by Hyperdictionary.com
Prev | Index | Next | Emily Dickinson's Herbarium
Photo Credit: earlywomenmasters.net ~
Goose and Chick, Hudson River, low tide, pebbles
(see goslings slide show for more photos)
ANWR