EDJE is an ongoing experiment in a mode of criticism that, instead of an explication of a text, offers something closer to a translation, or transformation, or reply to it.
The left column gives poems by Emily Dickinson, numbered according to R. W. Franklin’s edition of The Poems of Emily Dickinson (Harvard 1998). The right column is by me. To learn more about the project, click here.
577 One Anguish--in a Crowd-- A minor thing--it sounds-- And yet, unto the single Doe-- Attempted--of the Hounds 'Tis Terror as consummate As Legions of Alarm Did leap, full flanked, opon the Host-- 'Tis Units--make the Swarm-- A small Leech--on the Vitals-- The sliver, in the Lung-- The Bung out--of an Artery-- Are scarce accounted Harms-- Yet mighty--by relation-- To that repealless thing-- A being impotent to end-- When once it has begun--
All that swarms and is innumerable Is contrived from tiny minor units. Slivers. Bungs. Beings With beginnings and the finitude of harms. Life itself, unbegun by choice, Cannot, by contrast, be caparisoned Or repealed.