Friday, September 17, 2010

Poetry Friday and Friday's Psalm

There is no frigate like a book                                 
To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page

Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take

Without oppress of toll;

How frugal is the chariot

That bears a human soul!

By Emily Dickinson

When I teach poetry, I almost always use this poem.  I have to explain the meaning of frigate, traverse, coursers, frugal, and oppress.  Then we discuss what she's saying.  This is one of my favorite poems because of the role it gives books.

Books have truly been my passage to other worlds.  I read my first 'classic' to get 'brownie points' with my high school English teacher my freshman year.  It was Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and it remains my all time favorite book.  That book introduced me to the wild moors of England, tragic romance, the unique dialect of that region, and  intricate words whose meanings broadened  my own concepts.

Books are my haven in times of stress and turmoil.  For a brief time, I can set aside my life's concerns and assume someone else's life.  Lately I've been reading books that stretch my thoughts, cause me to reexamine areas in life, learn how to change those aspects in me that need adjustment, etc. 

Then there's the most important book in my life: the Bible.  I can't imagine not having the privilege to read it.

This is my contribution to Poetry Friday: If  over at Emily's.

This is also Psalm Friday for me.

More of my mother's underlined segments of verses of Psalms:

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
And he hath put a new song in my mouth . . .
      Psalm 40: 2, 3

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God . . .
Why are thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?  hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
     Psalm 42: 1, 2, and 5

From her fragile red Bible written in the Authorized King James Version

Blessing to you all as you enter the weekend.   I will be extra-blessed as I am babysitting 3 of my son's 4 children overnight on Saturday.


  1. Have fun with your grands!!!! I know you will --but I'll bet you will be worn out on Sunday!!! ha

    I remember Wuthering Heights ---and I even remember the Emily Dickinson poem... How special to get to work with young people when it comes to great Literature... I taught Math in high school..

    Have a great weekend. I know you will.

  2. I love this poem. And it's so true, books can be a passage to other lands and other lives, far removed from our own. I love that you teach this to your students. And I love that you linked to Emily's Poetry Friday! I think it's a fun idea, too.

    Your mother's psalm choices always resonate with me.

  3. Thanks so much for linking to Poetry Friday! I LOVE this poem - so happy you shared it. (I agree, books are the doors to other worlds, the best kind of frigate to far-off lands. And you'll never get seasick on the journey.)

    P.S. Psalm 40:2,3 is one of my favorites, too.

  4. what a pretty tea cup!
    you are good at pouring tea and
    serving lovely little bits to
    fill me up.

    thank you :-)

  5. Thanks for sharing Emily's work.
    lovely post.

  6. I so agree: books open so many doors for us! And the Bible is at the top of my reading list, too! Your mom's underlined verses must be so very special to you; it's as if she's still speaking to you! Hope you enjoy your grands!

  7. I love that poem too, and I so love books. I can get so deep into a book that when I look up I am startled to see that I am really here in my own little living room, instead of walking through the English countryside with Emma.
    Your mother has left a priceless legacy to you. Our music minister's wife wrote a song using those verses. It is one that always encourages my heart.


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