Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our lives are Swiss

Mollis, Switzerland, The Husband's home

Our lives are Swiss -
So still - so Cool -
Till some odd afternoon
The Alps neglect their Curtains
And we look further on!

Italy stands the other side!
While like a guard between -
The solemn Alps -
The siren Alps
Forever intervene!

Emily Dickinson
c. 1859

It's strange and true and wonderful how one can open a book of poetry and find something so apt, so perfect, so apropos. I am of Italian descent, The Husband Swiss-German, and I love how Dickinson captures so neatly our union.


  1. What a place to come from and what sublime interconnections, literally and symbolically, though to me there is a strangely sinister note here and I can't quite make it out. Perhaps I imagine it.

  2. Elisabeth - I think Emily Dickinson's poetry nearly always has a sinister bent to it -- or, at the least, unsettling. It settles well with me, though.

  3. I like Emily Dickinson. She is one of my favorite poets. Thanks for the post.

  4. Ms. Dickinson would be thrilled to read this post. I think she is smiling.

  5. That is really just so cool. E.D. Is my all time favorite woman of few words.

    My mom was a child in the French alps and she still lives and breathes that reality.

  6. What would it be like to wake up in the morning and look at that view? To grow up accustomed to it? I wonder how that would shape one's world and attitude. Would you feel small, awed, grateful, accustomed, anchored, supported, safe, and/or overshadowed by those peaks? Watching the light play across them during all hours of the day, watching the stars appear over them, seeing the moonrise and shine on them at night...what a gift. Does he ever talk about that? Does he miss them?

  7. My other half grew up in Europe with that view around the corner.


    Love the poem.

  8. One thing I like to do is let with a poetry book is to let a book open to a page. I have discovered some poems I might not have read had I not done this.

    Poetry says much indeed...

  9. I don't know why you guys don't bring the curtain down on this act and bring the show to the land of cheese, chocolate, watches and decent healthcare.
    Hope all is well.

  10. That photo is frameworthy. Seriously. It might need to find a place in our new house (with your permission, of course).

    Isn't is great when we discover a poem from long ago that is so perfect for our lives today?



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