Monday, January 18, 2010

Adoption Poetry From Emily Dickinson?

Have you read this Emily Dickinson poem?
I put it in my because it reads to me like an ambivalent someone searching, finding, and ultimately choosing the familiarity of not knowing over the uncertainty of what knowing might mean. An adoptee? A birth parent? An adoptive parent? Perhaps.

I years had been from home,
And now, before the door,
I dared not open, lest a face
I never saw before

Stare vacant into mine
And ask my business there.
My business,-just a life I left,
Was such still dwelling there?

I fumbled at my nerve,
I scanned the windows near;
The silence like an ocean rolled,
And broke against my ear.

I laughed a wooden laugh
That I could fear a door,
Who danger and the dead had faced,
But never quaked before.

I fitted to the latch
My hand, with trembling care,
Lest back the awful door should spring,
And leave me standing there.

I moved my fingers off
As cautiously as glass,
And held my ears, and like a thief
Fled gasping from the house.

Emily Dickinson

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
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Joy said...
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Joy said...

Very interesting poem to think about. The one thing I love about poetry, it can speak to everyone differently. To me it may even be looking back at one's former self or even one's innerself. How difficult it can be to take a really good look at ourselves, even though we should know it so well. Just a thought

Jeanine said...

I like how this poem uses a theme that can be very specific to adoption (searching) but also is universal, as Joy suggested. Isn't peace with an "unusual" life experience about owning both its uniqueness and its universality?

Also, although in the poem the end of this round of seeking ends in flight, one senses that there is always the next approach.