Recent tragedies have left many shattered and aching. It seems almost incomprehensible that such horrors have taken place. I wanted to take a moment to let all affected know that thoughts and prayers are being sent your way. Sometimes all we can do is say nothing and cry. At The Gentle Reader, we are weeping with you.

For some, the best way to work through deep thoughts and emotions is to go for a run or go to the gym. For others it may be spending time with loved ones, getting out in nature, or talking to a therapist. For me, I’ve found there is not one set way that works, but rather different ways to work though things at different times. One way that helps me is to write. I love the beauty of the written word and seeing my thoughts laid out in front of me. Writing in itself is an emotional journey. This is another reason why I love reading – because you see the beauty of words in front of you. You see how an author chose to put words together and link sentence to become stories, and you open yourself up to taking part in an emotional journey.

So today, as I try to work though the emotions of recent events, I wanted to simply write, and to share the words of one author that have helped me recently. I won’t be sharing a particular book, but actually two different poems. (I love poetry, but that’s going to be a topic for a different day). Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet. She used words (and punctuation) in such unique and compelling ways. I am drawn in when reading her works and feel a deep connection to them.

I’m not going to deep dive into these poems or give in-depth interpretations here. I look forward to doing that at a different time with other poetry. Today, I want share two poems that I’ve been thinking about recently. Maybe they won’t have any sort of impression on you, and maybe they will! I just encourage you to at least think about them and what, if any, meaning you see.

“Dawn” is a brief but powerful poem. Particularly when times may be at their darkest and it seems that light will never come again:

Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door;
Or has it feathers like a bird,
Or billows like a shore?

“Angels in the Early Morning” is a poem I’ve been particularly drawn to recently. I like to believe that we may catch glimpses of angels around us., and I love the picture Dickinson paints in this piece:

Angels in the early morning
May be seen the dews among,
Stooping, plucking, smiling, flying:
Do the buds to them belong?

Angels when the sun is hottest
May be seen the sands among,
Stooping, plucking, sighing, flying;
Parched the flowers they bear along.

Dickinson had a way of conveying struggle, confusion, longing, hope, and joy (to name a few) in her works. One reason I love her writing is because I feel that at any given time a poem of hers can speak to me and my feelings. I can relate to what she’s saying. I hope that you will take time to read more of her poems and see if you feel any kind of connection. That is one of the joys of reading – to feel or think about the emotions stirred up from the words on the page.

Until next time,
The Gentle Reader