Many of Emily Dickinson's (1830 - 1886) best poems languish in relative obscurity.  Though well known mostly for work that play off of universal themes like death ("Because I could not stop for Death --," "I heard a Fly buzz -- When I died --"), Dickinson was also a master of the understated image.  She predated Ezra Pound's imagistes by the better part of a century yet had an uncanny knack for condensing meaning into the fewest possible words.  "No Bobolink," with its core of desolation and glimmer of comfort, is perhaps the best example of this.


No Bobolink -- reverse His Singing
When the only Tree
Ever He minded occupying
By the Farmer be --

Clove to the Root --
His Spacious Future --
Best Horizon -- gone --
Whose Music be His --
Only Anodyne --
Brave Bobolink --

-- Emily Dickinson

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