Sunday 11 December 2022

Italic Winter

 I missed Emily Dickinson's 192nd birthday yesterday, but will mark it one day late with a poem that fits the season and the weather: Britain is having a taste of proper winter this year (must be that global warming), and outside my window snow – soft, small and reluctant to lie – is falling, and the roofs and paths are white. As one who takes no pleasure in being cold, I find it hard to agree that 'Winter is good', but Dickinson makes her case, in her unique style ('italic' indeed! Here it seems to mean astringent or something of the kind). The season is certainly 'welcome when he goes'...

Winter is good — his Hoar Delights
Italic flavor yield
To Intellects inebriate
With Summer, or the World —

Generic as a Quarry
And hearty — as a Rose —
Invited with Asperity
But welcome when he goes.

1 comment:

  1. The one and only Dave Lull refers me to the Emily Dickinson Lexicon, which gives various definitions of 'italic', none of which match my own conjecture – 'Right-sloping; cursive; hand-written; with inclining characters; [fig.] important; essential; significant; emphatic; underlined.
    Twisted; deformed; distorted; lined with age; wrinkled with suffering; [fig.] frowning; sorrowful.'