Dear March

Today I’m looking Emily Dickinson’s poem number 1320.

Dear March -- Come in --
How glad I am --
I hoped for you before --

Put down your Hat --
You must have walked --
How out of Breath you are --
Dear March, Come right up the stairs with me --
I have so much to tell --

I got your Letter, and the Birds --
The Maples never knew that you were coming -- till I called
I declare -- how Red their Faces grew --
But March, forgive me -- and
All those Hills you left for me to Hue --
There was no Purple suitable --
You took it all with you --

Who knocks? That April.
Lock the Door --
I will not be pursued --
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied --
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come

That Blame is just as dear as Praise
And Praise as mere as Blame –

The Dickinson family entertained many houseguests. Young Emily was known to lurk around, hiding in the shadows, listening and watching her parents’ guests until she felt comfortable enough to join in. Sometimes she didn’t. But usually, she managed to get in on the conversation, especially with visitors she considered her intellectual equal.  Emily Dickinson was probably around forty-two years of age when she wrote this poem. There is a lot of energy in this poem—like March. She compares March to a houseguest. In the poem she answers the door and finds March on the doorstep. Tentative at first, she invites him in, take off your hat. And then she begins a pretty frantic, wild conversation. This is something she was known for when it came to company. Tentative at first but then she could pretty much talk the ear off of anyone listening.  We know she was expecting March because she tells us she got his letter. March was Emily’s favorite month because it brought new life. A symbol or metaphor she used often to denote rebirth in Nature and rebirth in Salvation. When April comes knocking she doesn’t want to answer. She’d rather April wait a while. Let’s enjoy March.

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