“There’s a certain Slant of light, Winter Afternoons — that oppresses, like the Heft of Cathedral Tunes –“


Dickensoncropped 2Where would we be, during difficult winters like this one, without the help of Emily Dickinson? This poem ends with these lines:
“When it comes, the Landscape listens —
Shadows — hold their breath —
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death — ”
Driving home from work in Madison on icy roads, the words “certain slant of light” and “oppressive” and “shadows hold their breath” often creep into my minivan.  Snow tires and good gloves are important, but sometimes it’s the fine lines
from poets that lift the journey up and help us breathe.

Emily Dickinson, Final Harvest (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1964),  36.

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