Sunday, September 9, 2007

fall, food & fairies - NOT Dickinson

I liked this poem I found online, presaging the upcoming fall:

When I sound the fairy call,
gather here in silent meeting,
chin to knee on the orchard wall,
cooled with dew and cherries eating.
Merry, merry, take a cherry,
mine are sounder, mine are rounder,
mine are sweeter for the eater,
when the dews fall, and you'll be fairies all.

It was attributed to Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) - the so-called 'New England Mystic.' Wrong.

When I looked to find the full citation - title - whatnot - I found it's not Emily Dickinson at all. It's Robert Graves. Yes, the same who wrote I, Claudius. He also wrote a book of poetry called Fairies and Fusiliers (1918) about his experiences in the war. WWI. The above is the last stanza to a poem entitled CHERRY-TIME.

It's amazing the difference it makes. Emily Dickinson's fairies, perched on a wall: sweet, innocent, whimsical. . . .

Or Robert Graves' phantoms of trench-fare: dark, threatening, silent. Tragic. . . . Scarey-sad.


Lemon Stand said...

Thank you for your correction. I have updated my post.

You are right about how it makes a difference in the meaning.

prophet said...

it's so beautiful, Ms. Stand. . . . my thanks for having drawn me to it. I would have preferred the whimsy.