|The only authenticated portrait of Emily Dickinson, 1846/1847, Archives and Special Collections at Amherst College.|
Often a central theme in the poetry of Emily Dickinson, nature, and particularly the turning of seasons, is yet again conjured up before our eyes, in this brief poem casting a magic spell that catches the reader slightly off guard. Falls, shrouded in a shawl that is made of one of the precious stones in the foundation of the heavenly Jerusalem, is the unnamed protagonist, along with all the autumnal colors of New England.
Yet, just as to any elderly person, that time of the year brings back reminiscences of past, long gone seasons; and memories play tricks, don't they? Where are we really? With the receding, lost past let go of, and so the future, as it dwindles, what is really left? Possibly, a timeless experience of transcendence, that carries us beyond the known pastures and the boundaries of a lifetime.
It can't be summer, – that got through; It 's early yet for spring; There's that long town of white to cross Before the blackbirds sing. It can't be dying, – it's too rouge, – The dead shall go in white. So sunset shuts my question down With clasps of chrysolite.
By Emily Dickinson,(1896) The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series Two