It is Emily’s birthday today and her poetry has been my source of joy and peace for a few years; she’s become my companion and her poems, part of my everyday life. Each poem mesmerizes me with its simplicity and depth, many poems make me feel that this is exactly what I wanted to say. Sometimes she taught me things unknown to me. I had never seen the house wife in the West or a Well as a mysterious neighbour, nor I knew that ‘the soul should always stand ajar’ or else you may miss heaven visiting you! Any dull day turns bright with a few lines from her. My dose of cheer and positivity. I even wondered at times how could Emily, sitting in Amherst, feel and experience exactly the same way I did feel in a land so remote from hers like Cambodia or Kerala or Vietnam! How could she too see the same Robin that interrupts the morn, overflows the morn sitting among the astonished boughs!! Many a time I have wondered whether she has ever visited and lived in these places!
Though I always felt that I understand Emily too well, some of her lines baffle me. Here’s another WELL poem by Emily Dickinson. Well, this is entirely different from her other poem on well, ‘What mystery pervades a well’. (https://rethyravi.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/well-thats-all-about-a-well/ )
This ‘well’ looks more mysterious to me. What does she have in mind when she talks about ‘the draughtless wells’ that can quench the thirst on Summer days? Are these wells her sources of poetic inspiration and creativity? Or is the well a symbol of love? I am confused. As I read the last lines, the water in her well seems to be representing Love. Hoping to get a clear picture one day.
I know where Wells grow — Droughtless Wells —
Deep dug — for Summer days —
Where Mosses go no more away —
And Pebble — safely plays —
It’s made of Fathoms — and a Belt —
A Belt of jagged Stone —
Inlaid with Emerald — half way down —
And Diamonds — jumbled on —
It has no Bucket — Were I rich
A Bucket I would buy —
I’m often thirsty — but my lips
Are so high up — You see —
I read in an Old fashioned Book
That People “thirst no more” —
The Wells have Buckets to them there —
It must mean that — I’m sure —
Shall We remember Parching — then?
Those Waters sound so grand —
I think a little Well — like Mine —
Dearer to understand —
The plentiful resources are deep down and it is difficult to draw the ‘water’ from the fathoms down without a bucket. Her thirsty lips stand high up yearning for water and she wishes she were rich enough to buy a bucket. She has heard about the the wells that are equipped with buckets and hence ‘waters’ reach the thirstless lips without much effort. So parching is unknown to those people. They will never understand how precious her well is as they have never felt thirst; they never had to stand and wait.
Our well in ‘Kousthubham’ which so well matches Emily’s well; deep dug, where mosses grow with a belt of jagged stones.
Yes, your ‘well’ is a bit too dear for me to understand! I too am standing near the laid stone wall of your well- inlaid with emeralds, diamonds jumbled upon- yearning for those precious pure drops of water to quench my parched lips!
Happy birthday dear Emily!