Emily Dickinson was “visited” abruptly

In my last posting, I shared an Emily Dickinson poem and put my twist on it, interpreting it to mean a “visitation” from the Spirit of God, a visitation that presented her with “difference.”

Most of us get this “visitation” over the span of a lifetime, sometimes starting with a conversion experience or a mystical experience. There are those, however, are visted more abruptly from time to time and find it very frightening. And I think the frightening nature of these “abrupt” visitations is why God approaches us gently most of the time as we can’t handle such approaches from the Divine.  (In the classic Jack Nicholson line, “You can’t handle the truth!”)

Here is another Emily Dickinson poem which, I think, expresses her having been visited abruptly on some occasion. It is vivid and harrowing.

The Master      

He fumbles at your spirit
        As players at the keys
Before they drop full music on;
       He stuns you by degrees,

Prepares your brittle substance
        For the ethereal blow,
By fainter hammers, further heard,
       Then nearer, then so slow

Your breath has time to straighten,
       Your brain to bubble cool,–
Deals one imperial thunderbolt
       That scalps your naked soul.

When winds take Forests in their Paws–
The Universe is still.

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8 thoughts on “Emily Dickinson was “visited” abruptly

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