Sunday, July 26, 2015

Poetry Sunday: A narrow fellow in the grass


Perhaps not so many people find poetry in snakes, but then the Belle of Amherst was no ordinary person or poet. Emily Dickinson wrote with empathetic feeling of the "narrow fellow." As one who admires snakes, I find her poem quite expressive of their nature.

A narrow fellow in the grass (1096)


BY EMILY DICKINSON
A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him—did you not
His notice sudden is,
The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen,
And then it closes at your feet,
And opens further on.


He likes a boggy acre,  
A floor too cool for corn,
But when a boy and barefoot,
I more than once at noon
Have passed, I thought, a whip lash,
Unbraiding in the sun,
When stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled and was gone.


Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality.
But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.

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