Thursday, June 20, 2024

I'd Be Her Groupie

 "The Heart wants what it wants".

I never concerned myself with where or who came up with this quote. Was it a song, a line in a movie, or was it just some casual wisdom passed down by someone who coined it and made it famous? I didn't know, so I checked.

Apparently that great poet Emily Dickinson came up with it. That makes sense of course. She could create wonderful poetry with the fewest words possible. I always admired her work. 

I would be lying though if I didn't admit that it may have had something to do with the brevity she brought to her poems. 

In grade school, specifically Mrs. Savage's 6th grade class, memorizing one of her poems was a lot easier than say, Longfellow, who was also great. He was much longer winded. I gravitated to her when the assignment was to memorize a poem from "the list". We were expected to recite it in class and then explain what it meant to us. At least the first part was easy. Explaining the poems with a 6th grade male mind, not so much.

“The Heart wants what it wants - or else it does not care”

The version of the quote most poached today is only a part of the original quote. Dropping the last phrase takes something away from the point I think. The emotional Heart only feels in one direction at a time. Both Hatred and Love are created by the emotional Heart and both only have one goal. While their short term goals are mutually exclusive, Their ultimate goal is often the same: to blanket the object of their affection or derision with as much emotion as possible.

Seeing the quote and a recent viewing of the film, "A Quiet Passion" brought up memories of poetry, Mrs. Savage, and how much I loved her class. More importantly it caused me to want more information about Emily Dickinson.

She was singled minded and refused to be relegated to marriage, children and kow towing to the men in her life: an early accidental Feminist I guess. She pushed boundaries and through tenacious will and her over the top talent, she broke through a barrier women writers now take for granted.

It angers me now that so much of the current interest in Emily is whether she was Gay or not. Who the fuck cares? Isn't it enough that she left us a beautiful body of work and helped to elevate American literature to where it was slowly being recognized by the literary snobs across the pond. Today, she is more popular in Great Britain than here. Hell, I wonder if two in ten Americans would even recognize her name.

I tried hard to remember my favorite Dickinson poem from Sixth grade. Couldn't do it. But I will assume it was one of her shortest. So, with short in mind, Here are two of the over 1700 poems she penned in her all too short lifetime:

I never know where I will find the prompts for my posts. This one came from Outer Space I think.

BTW - Emily Dickinson is related to Taylor Swift. ...... For what its worth.... To some a lot, to the rest of us, not a bit. ........We just don't give a shit.

Keep it 'tween the ditches .............................


Today it's a cover day. One of the best Blues Tune ever recorded is "The Sky is Crying". So many blues players have covered it, the original artist's version was lost in the many covers of it. Elmore James was first and still my favorite, but this cover by Stevie Ray Vaughn is right on Elmore's heels. Every time I listen to it, I want to sit on a tall stool, my elbows on a bar and drink sour mash like I did so many years ago.


Anonymous said...

I like her poetry too. She says so much in so few words
.Blog Fodder

PipeTobacco said...

Emily Dickinson is a beautiful poet. I also enjoy e e cummings, and Whitman. I have very limited knowledge of poetry, however…. so may be missing a lot.

Like I have said before, I do not give a damn what anyone does with their genitals (other than what I and my wife do with our own), and would frankly prefer to not hear about it.


MRMacrum said...

Pipe Tobacco - Like you, I have never dove deep into poetry. Maybe I had more exposure than most because my father was a big fan. Wilbert Snow was his favorite, maybe because he was a student of Wilbert's at Wesleyan University in the late 1920s. My father stayed in touch with Wilbert until his death in the 1970s. His other favorite was Robert Frost, who he had also rubbed shoulders with in college because of Wilbert's and Frost's continuing friendship. It was my father who explained, Frost's "Mending Wall "( Fence's Make Good Neighbors ) to me when I was a sixth grader in Florida. I aced an English test because of it.

MRMacrum said...

Blog Fodder - Oops. I missed commenting on yours. Yeah, I am woefully lacking in the Poetry arena. Poetry is like Art to me, I am no expert, but I know when I like it and when I don't. I never liked sonnets or the rigid meter of the English poets. Too rigid and set.... maybe just a little to slick.

Anonymous said...

The blog fodder should be able to relate the same way as me to "A certain slant of light" . Winter afternoons will always be tied in my mind to "The Sunday at home program" with Cy Knight on CHAB 800 radio. If there were ever oppressive cathedral tunes they were on his play list.
The only reason one would be listening was because it was too cold/stormy to play outside so forever after that stray ray of sunshine that would make it through the south window on the old farmhouse is fixed in my mind with the Emily Dickinson poem I discovered back in 1964 in English lit 102.
The professor(who I developed a huge crush for) was a sister to a friend from my days in voc-ag . She took advantage of that to channel my argumentative nature into something useful. Something I will be forever grateful for.

Margaret said...

Indeed, what does it matter which poets are gay (or not). I do love poetry but the very dense stuff or the heavily rhymed don't entice me much.

MRMacrum said...

Anonymous - Seems it often takes the passage of years to appreciate some of the lessons and unnoticed pleasures we consumed back in the day.

Margaret - I wonder if my disdain for the "heavily rhymed" poetry force fed us in Grade school and high school is why I gravitated away from English poets to the looser dog American poets.

River said...

I'll agree with your statement that being gay is irrelevant, her works are what is important, just as it should be irrelevant today. What a person is means little to me as long as that person is kind.

MRMacrum said...

River - Kindness is certainly a wonderful consideration to use when allowing people into your sphere.