Monday, March 23, 2015

An Incongruous Mermaid***

I started Early - Took my Dog -
And visited the Sea -
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me -

And Frigates - in the Upper floor
Extended Hempen Hands -
Presuming Me to be a Mouse -
Aground - upon the Sands

But no Man moved Me - till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe -
And past my Apron - and my Belt
And past my Bodice - too -

And made as He would eat me up -
As wholly as a Dew
Upon a Dandelion's Sleeve -
And then - I started - too -

And He - He followed - close behind -
I felt His Silver Heel
Upon my Ankle - Then my Shoes
Would overflow with Pearl -

Until We met the Solid Town -
No One He seemed to know -
And bowing - with a Mighty look -
At me - The Sea withdrew

Emily Dickinson, c. 1862

***I posted this years ago, and I just love it so I'm posting it again.


  1. Incredible. I miss poetry, thanks for bringing me back to it.

  2. I love it too! I had forgotten that as the source of the title of Kate Atkins's novel "Started Early, Took My Dog."

  3. Still trying to figure out what incongruous means...

  4. I've never read this one! Thank you for sharing it.



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