life so sweet

5.17.15 ~ Venice, Italy

That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.
Believing what we don’t believe
Does not exhilarate.

That if it be, it be at best
An ablative estate —
This instigates an appetite
Precisely opposite.

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1761)

10 thoughts on “life so sweet”

    1. It’s funny, Jeff. I looked up “ablative” and got a flash of an idea about the meaning of this poem. But I’m sitting here trying to put my thoughts into words and I can’t. To me, it seems to have something to do with experiencing the joy we find when dwelling in present moment awareness. Believing in and longing for the unknown future (in a heaven?) can separate us from the ecstasy of here/now…

      1. Yes it is the word I researched as well, and since I realized I have been in a place of stillness or flatness, finding the sweetness and magic feels far away at the moment yet I know it is not so. It is not good or bad, it just is.

        1. So true, it is what it is, all part of the whole, the endless flowing of the universe. Stillness and magic are one…

  1. I find the poem melancholic yet joyful, sad yet welcoming. Beautiful in every sense. And yes, a reminder that we need to enjoy the moment – IN THE MOMENT – for it will never occur the same way again.

    1. Thank you for weighing in, Pam. I think most of Emily’s poetry captures the bitter-sweetness which permeates the essence of living in each moment. Moments like snowflakes – similar but never quite the same…

  2. I struggled with this poem when I first read it. I enjoyed reading the comments. They’ve helped me to better understand it and to reflect upon its meaning.

    1. That’s part of the magic of poetry: it means something a little different to each reader and also means different things to us at different moments in our lives. It’s always fun for me to see what others think of the poems I post!

  3. I found the poem to be gobbledygook (even after Googling “ablative” I was still pretty baffled. But the photo is an amazing statement about identity and the lack of permanence of things.

    1. It’s so interesting how differently our brains work. Math and logic problems seem like gobbledygook to me, yet my husband thrives on them. Other people see the world through words or musical notes and still others through pictures. I love how the random fading painting on a wall facing a canal in Venice spoke to you, Sybil!

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