By Jerome Charyn
“Remarkable perception . . . [a] certain meditation/investigation. . . . Jerome Charyn the unpredictable, elusive, and enigmatic is a traditional fit for Emily Dickinson, the quintessence of these." —Joyce Carol Oates, writer of untamed Nights! and The misplaced Landscape
We imagine we all know Emily Dickinson: the Belle of Amherst, virginal, reclusive, and probably mad. yet in A Loaded Gun, Jerome Charyn introduces us to another Emily Dickinson: the fierce, great, and sexually charged poet who wrote:
My existence had stood—a Loaded Gun—
Though I than He— may well longer live
He longer must—than I—
For i've got however the energy to kill,
Without—the strength to die—
Through interviews with modern students, shut readings of Dickinson's correspondence and handwritten manuscripts, and a suggestive, newly came upon photo that's alleged to convey Dickinson along with her lover, Charyn's literary sleuthing finds the nice poet in ways in which have merely been hinted at formerly: as a lady who used to be deeply philosophical, intensely engaged with the area, drawn to contributors of either sexes, and ready to write poetry that disturbs and delights us today.
Jerome Charyn is the writer of, such a lot lately, sour Bronx: 13 tales, i'm Abraham: a singular of Lincoln and the Civil battle, and the key lifetime of Emily Dickinson: a singular. He lives in New York.
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Additional resources for A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century
The verse is different, to be sure, but poets are always bent on “saying it new” and “growing” their medium. ”1 It is the “ancient rhyme” that interests us non-poets, the return to a way of seeing that seems increasingly outmoded, that set of analogies by which medieval men understood the universe. How does Eliot get to the avowedly Christian perspective from that other and different one—whatever it be precisely—that now appears all the more “semblable” to us, inhabitants of “the waste land” and perhaps “hollow men”?
Like all good satire, they also require close reading and elicit the reader’s most scrupulous attention in hopes of forthcoming distinctions. In the case of Eliot’s notes, there is a blend of the helpful and the (potentially) misleading. Is this an act of the poet—directly or through the guise of a satirized speaker—entering the poem, having failed to follow the injunctions brilliantly set forth in The Sacred Wood to “surrender” his “personality”? The notes have always been a contentious, problematic matter.
So far at least in the poem, the speaker makes religious allusions, apparently a “heap” of references and images, but there is no assurance that he fully understands what he is talking about—perhaps he half-understands. Eliot’s thesis may, however, lie in those “mouthed” ideas and images. For the speaker, though, an experience or an idea is but one of many; it is just another. . Understandably, the wastelanders grow weary, and bored, get impatient, become difficult. ” What? What tomorrow? What ever do?