on the existence of atoms

“Young Girl Seated” by Amedeo Modigliani

It troubled me as once I was —
For I was once a Child —
Concluding how an Atom — fell —
And yet the Heavens — held —

The Heavens weighed the most — by far —
Yet Blue — and solid — stood —
Without a Bolt — that I could prove —
Would Giants — understand?

Life set me larger — problems —
Some I shall keep — to solve
Till Algebra is easier —
Or simpler proved — above —

Then — too — be comprehended —
What sorer — puzzled me —
Why Heaven did not break away —
And tumble — Blue — on me —

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #516)

22 thoughts on “on the existence of atoms”

  1. How extraordinary that poem is – and i would never have thought Dickinson would have written it – all those lines?
    And – I saw a black cat sitting in her hair – I wonder what you see 🙂

    1. Leave it to Emily to ponder the magic of science. I see a big floppy bow. I have a picture of my grandmother as a little girl, taken about the same time this portrait was painted, with a huge bow in her hair. 🙂

    1. The synchronicity is delightful, Frank! Blue seas in your world and blue skies in mine this morning. Well, actually the sky is as gray as the ocean right now… 🙂

    1. Thank you, Jet. Apparently atoms had just been discovered when Emily wrote the poem, but not protons, electrons or neutrons…

  2. Hi, Barbara, and Emily and Seated Young Girl. Just dropping by to say hi…thinking of you with love of this February day. Are you getting that snowstorm out East?

    1. Hi there, Kathy! So happy to “see” you for a bit. 💙 We’ve had a gentle snowfall all day yesterday and expect more today from this slow-moving storm, but only have about 5 inches so far. Listening to the hum of snowplows as I write this…

  3. I don’t recall reading this one of Emily’s before — thanks for introducing it to me, Barbara. I hope you’re staying warm in all this cold weather!

    1. You’re welcome, Debbie. I enjoy browsing through my book of Emily’s poems — so many of them seem new, different things jump out at me. Yup, I’m staying tucked inside until it’s safe to walk around without slipping and sliding!

    1. Thank you, Linda. My book of ED poems has 1,789 of them. I’m always finding a “new” one that suddenly makes sense, although many of them don’t. 😉

        1. Thanks for the tip. I used to follow a wonderful blog called “Emily Every Day” but the author, Constance Adler, hasn’t posted since 2012. 🙁

          1. You’re welcome Barbara. I had some bloggers I had followed over the past few years that posted every day, or at least frequently, then just dropped off the map.

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