Ode to Emily

Written by: linda milgate

In the 1800‘s
Looking out from a window down through an old oak tree
At flowers and skies, cloudy grey or sparkling blue,
Walking through the waving green grasses of the yard.  
Mistress of words with an interior so deep,
Two thousand poems in the old leather trunk 
Until her death,  gently packed away.  
Only 7 were published while she lived, 
All anonymously.
Never wife nor mother, rare for those times
Yet, nature, love and death, their images and understanding
She placed in a few perfect lines.
Hearing  the larks’ songs, science and religion 
Modern thoughts in poems sent and rejected.
The Atlantic Monthly was  backward;
Their editors so wrong.

Now I can’t pretend I fully comprehend
Her interior expressed sometimes
Too weighty for me.  But the depth of those
I comprehend adds to 
My hope that a life constrained
 Whether by health or times 
Is still filled with possibilities. 
 And so she said
“ If I can stop one heart from breaking; 
I shall not live in vain.” 
Though a mystic and transcendent,
With her practical humorous side this ends
“Faith is a fine invention
    For gentlemen who see;
But microscopes are prudent
In an emergency!"
This little Emily is my ode to thee. 


Jared Pickett's The Ode Contest