Emily Dickinson, “The First Day’s Night Had Come” (c. 1862)

The first Day’s Night had come—

And grateful that a thing
So terrible—had been endured—
I told my Soul to sing—

She said her Strings were snapt—
Her Bow—to Atoms blown—
And so to mend her—gave me work
Until another Morn—

And then—a Day as huge
As Yesterdays in pairs,
Unrolled its horror in my face—
Until it blocked my eyes—

My Brain—begun to laugh—
I mumbled—like a fool—
And tho’ ’tis Years ago—that Day—
My Brain keeps giggling—still.

And Something’s odd—within—
That person that I was—
And this One—do not feel the same—
Could it be Madness—this?

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One Response to Emily Dickinson, “The First Day’s Night Had Come” (c. 1862)

  1. Amber Chiac says:

    What a perfect poem to go with our readings today.

    I love that she pairs horror with giggles and capitalizes the word “One” and says “a Day as huge As Yesterdays in pairs.” I think she is emphasizing the distance between her separate selves. They are emotionally antithetical, seem to exist in different temporalities and take on lives of their own.

    I also love the imagery of the snapped strings. It makes me think about what May said regarding the power of voices to heal. Perhaps silence, not voices, represents breakage? But who is telling her that the bow is broken? If she could sing harmoniously, would her selves cohere? And if so, who would she be?

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