Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Poem #1742

Odilon Redon
Serpent Auréole
British Museum

In Winter in my Room
I came upon a Worm
Pink lank and warm
But as he was a worm
And worms presume
Not quite with him at home
Secured him by a string
To something neighboring
And went along –

A Trifle afterward
A thing occurred
I'd not believe it if I heard
But state with creeping blood
A snake with mottle rare
Surveyed my chamber floor
In feature as the worm before
But ringed with power
The very string with which
I tied him – too
When he was mean and new
That string was there –

I shrank – "How fair you are"!
Propitiation's Claw –
"Afraid he hissed
Of me"?
"No Cordiality" –
He fathomed me –
Then to a Rhythm Slim
Secreted in his Form
As Patterns swim
Projected him.

That time I flew
Both eyes his way
Lest he pursue
Nor ever ceased to run
Till in a distant Town
Towns on from mine
I set me down
This was a dream –

– Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Odilon Redon
Closed Eyes
oil on canvas
Musée d'Orsay, Paris