our lives – loaded guns?

There is something surreal about ‘news cycles’ and our appetite for celebrity. Life imitates art and the news of the world becomes a movie. After hearing about nothing but Wills and Kate for days and days, we now hear nothing other than the unfolding story of the killing of bin Laden.

Anyway, philosophical considerations of modern news media aside; reading about the life, career and death of the terrorist reminded me of Emily Dickinson’s poem. I don’t pretend to fully understand this poem, but something of the power of its imagery has always haunted me…

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun –
In Corners – till a Day
The Owner passed – identified –
And carried Me away –

And now We roam in Sovereign Woods –
And now We hunt the Doe –
And every time I speak for Him –
The Mountains straight reply –

And do I smile, such cordial light
Upon the Valley glow –
It is as a Vesuvian face
Had let its pleasure through –

And when at Night – Our good Day done –
I guard My Master’s Head –
‘Tis better than the Eider-Duck’s
Deep Pillow – to have shared –

To foe of His – I’m deadly foe –
None stir the second time –
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye –
Or an emphatic Thumb –

Though I than He – may longer live
He longer must – than I –
For I have but the power to kill,
Without–the power to die–

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~ by Garry on May 4, 2011.

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