3 poems in the style of Emily Dickinson (but with leaven of Fireblossom!)


Honesty and Tactlessness
are siblings, but not twins--
One lives in solitary pride,
the other stays with friends.


Up the narrow stair behind
the empty choir loft--
I carried your sweet letters, dear,
in ribbons pink and soft.

Your letters could not sweeter be,
if angels held the pen--
What jaded Heaven sends today,
the next calls back again.

We used the empty choir loft
to have what angels lack;
These letters full of high fine light--
one match will show them black.


Are you surprised when I am cruel,
and be what I must be?
You taught me well, now go to hell--
Full reciprocity.

for Real Toads Sunday mini-challenge HERE. The first poem is from 2008, the other two are new.


Lolamouse said…
Geez, I haven't even finished my first cup of coffee, and you've already posted 3 poems! Way to make me feel inferior. Do you not sleep? Anyway, I think you've channeled Emily. First and third are short and pithy and the second is achingly beautiful.
Kerry O'Connor said…
Of course, the secret of Dickinson's success with this form is not only the simplicity of the style but the words she chose to line up in 8/6/8/6 syllables.. Yes, the words to capture enormous ideas. You have done this in spades with both your single stanza poems, which pack that intellectual punch. And that beautiful lyrical second poem.. oh it has the bitter sweetness of love which may only be obliquely mentioned and is definitely a 'Shay original'. There you have made the style your own with a final line to cut to the quick.
Marion said…
Fantastic, Shay. I think Emily would be both proud & jealous. You've got her style to a "T". xoxo
Lynn said…
lol on that last one. :) All good though.
Sioux Roslawski said…
If only Emily and you COULD have worked together and been each a muse for the other, or been in a writing critique with each other...the results would be unbelievable.

I think this on a regular basis, but these are some of my favorites.
However, in a day or two or four, I'll be convinced that another poem is your best. And your best is indeed something to shout about.
hedgewitch said…
I haven't read the form challenge yet, but these poems are independently excellent, full of Emily style oblique directness, if you will--the way she glances words off the obvious and down to the real. I like the second poem best--to me it goes down into the very basement of the soul with a torch--ready to light or burn as the case may be, but fearlessly looking. And that doesn't even touch on the beauty and simplicity of the language. Fine work, Shay, in every way.
Sheila said…
wonderful! I like the last one the best - it def packs a roaring bite that I enjoy. you go, girl! ;)
to wake up by your side
finding these lovely words in letters scribed
must give your lover a wonderous pride
unlike, in the morning, from each other trying to hide

You are channeling Emily, wonderfully.

Lolamouse (chuckle)
Honesty and Tactlessness----that's fantastic. It's my favorite of this little bouquet.
Brian Miller said…
nice...each another layer...i particularly like the second cause its hot...and the last for its honest attitude...nice dance in these...
Mary Ann Potter said…
Miss Emily has taught us well
to write in lines like these,
but you have done a better job
in writing - we are pleased!
Anonymous said…
we need Fireblossom's leaven, that we do!

fine form, SP, and even better content! LOVE these! ♥
Sherry Blue Sky said…
I think perhaps you ARE Emily Dickinson in her next lifetime! Seriously.
Scarlet said…
what a fine feast of verses ...i like your personal touch to the form (i though you hate poetry forms) but you did very well here ~
Kay L. Davies said…
I love the first one and the last one. So much said in so few words, a mere 28 syllables.
I particularly like the last line of the last poem. "Full reciprocity" is perfect!

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel
TALON said…
I loved them all Shay, but the last one was superb! :)

Stripey says, "Hey!" and he says you can say hi to Bosco for him, too (okay, he said it grudgingly, but he did say it) :)
Cloudia said…
The first,
and last:


Happy Belated Emily's birthday (Sat)

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >


< ° ) } } > <
HermanTurnip said…
I sometimes struggle to write my Monday morning stories. I visit your page for inspiration, but on days like today you've simply blown me out of the water. Care to share your muse with those of us who are struggling? ;-)
Jinksy said…
That last line which fits the form in two words is a doozy!
cosmos cami said…
LOOOOOVE that rhyme!
Love it.
cosmos cami said…
The "Full reciprocity" one.

I love the wisdom of the first poem.
Maude Lynn said…
These are all outstanding. You really nailed the voice.