elusive thought

“Stilhet” by Helene Schjerfbeck

A Thought went up my mind today —
That I have had before —
But did not finish — some way back —
I could not fix the Year —

Nor Where it went — nor why it came
The second time to me —
Nor definitely, what it was —
Have I the Art to say —

But somewhere — in my soul — I know —
I’ve met the Thing before —
It just reminded me — ’twas all —
And came my way no more —

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #731)

14 thoughts on “elusive thought”

  1. I don’t scroll to find out the author of poems, preferring to playing a guessing game of sorts. This time, I was right — it’s Emily! She was only in her mid-50s when she died, so it’s hard to believe she was suffering from forgetfulness. Still, perhaps she was accustomed to that awful feeling of having misplaced something or had one of those fleeting thoughts that just as fast disappear!

    1. My kids are in their 40s and I see them struggling to grasp fleeting thoughts, too. I suspect when the brain is under a lot of stress it gets plenty distracted, no matter our age. (And Emily’s life was full of stress!) But the older we get the more stress we accumulate so perhaps we notice the occurrence more often as we age. It’s so interesting to realize that the experience is universal across time!

  2. Excellent title for this post, Barbara! The artwork and poetry becomes one intriguing process of many thoughts for me.

    I’m grateful to have you and your talents in my thoughts today.

    1. Thank you, Suz! I don’t think so. From what I’ve read in biographies, Emily’s sister was instructed to destroy Emily’s poems after her death, but she didn’t. While Emily was alive she resisted getting published.

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