Thursday, October 23, 2014


Detail of photo by my friend Joni Menard:
"My house has all natural spookiness going on. I am so grateful.
All that fake cobweb stuff is for spook pretenders."

When we read Emily Dickinson back in college, the teacher had us look up gossamer as it appears in the fourth stanza of "Because I could not stop for Death." Of all the things that I've forgotten over the years, those lovely descriptors have stayed in my mind forever:
goose summer
summer thread
spider threads
summer - like weather in late autumn
light or flimsy or filmy.
Each fall, when the lawn and leaves are strewn with "spider threads," I think of Dickinson's delicately clad heroine, dressed for summer even as inevitable winter approaches. Headed toward Eternity, she shivers in her fine array:

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and Chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity –
[emphasis added]

~ Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 86

Note from Joni:
"Not just one plant but two; pic is fuzzy."

Click to see Summer Gossamer!

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