I Ask Emily Some Questions

…not that I can tell the difference
between an instant and a moment–
What is, exactly, the fundamental unit
of time?  Is it a pause, or is it a question
of how the equation’s processes
are organized?  Where is the boundary
between thriving and decay?  When
do cobwebs begin to appear
in the corners of the mind?  Does
the soul, too, become dust, or
is it like zero, pivoting on an axis
that has no location?  Is time
elemental like earth, like fire?
Can it fall into ruin? –or is it
integral to the devil’s work, a way
of placing things on a line, consecutive
and immutable?  Is slow really
opposite to fast, or, in fact, only
a different way of measuring?–and
where exactly is an instant to be
found?  Can it be held in place, or
does it have no material form, no
law to explain it, no real identity at all?

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to make your own poem from an Emily Dickinson poem. I chose Crumbling is not an instant’s Act (1010). I went through and selected words and, using them in order, wrote my own poem around them. This is a method I often employ, using words from all kinds of sources. Emily is a good source.

For some reason what I wrote reminded me of Dylan’s Love Minus Zero/No Limit. OK, I did kind of borrow “like ice, like fire”. Here’s my favorite version, by Joan Baez.

18 thoughts on “I Ask Emily Some Questions

  1. I really didn’t like the prompt. It sounded like just re-writing Dickinson, but I like what you did–sort of using her poem like Oracle words. Maybe she was another Oracle, too.

    I loved your elemental questions.

    I prefer Joan Baez’s versions most times. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The questions I like. Very much. And your poem of qustions directed at that great lady is gorgeous. It’s a lot better and more ethical than trying to rewrite what’s already perfectly written. I dig this a lot. Thanks for sharing. And as always, the illustratiion is fantastic, m’lady. “Tis a joy to my eyes and soul. thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yours was the right way to tackle this prompt. Not what the prompter asked for, and not what was produced by most. You took some of her ‘words’ to work on, but not her unique phrasing which is hers and hers alone. I like your questions (as always) and that there are no answers.

    Liked by 1 person

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