Poetry Sunday: I started Early - Took my Dog

A few days ago, I posted my review here of Kate Atkinson's book Started Early, Took My Dog. That enigmatic title was taken from a poem by Emily Dickinson about a walk on the beach. Of course, when I realized that, I had to look the poem up and read it.

Like all of Dickinson's poems, it is very evocative and succinctly expresses, in her own inimitable way, her view and understanding of the world around her. I liked the poem a lot, so I decided to feature it today.

And here it is - complete with Dickinson's own original spellings, capitalizations, and punctuations.

I started Early - Took my Dog
by Emily Dickinson

I started Early – Took my Dog –
And visited the Sea –
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me –

And Frigates – in the Upper Floor
Extended Hempen Hands –
Presuming Me to be a Mouse –
Aground – opon the Sands –

But no Man moved Me – till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe –
And past my Apron – and my Belt
And past my Boddice – too –

And made as He would eat me up –
As wholly as a Dew
Opon a Dandelion's Sleeve –
And then – I started – too –

And He – He followed – close behind –
I felt His Silver Heel
Opon my Ancle – Then My Shoes
Would overflow with Pearl –

Until We met the Solid Town –
No One He seemed to know –
And bowing – with a Mighty look –
At me – The Sea withdrew –


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