Spiderweb Soaked with Dew
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Emily Dickinson's Nature Mysticism : A Photo Poetic Labyrinth
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Circuit I - (05) A Spider Sewed at Night (J-1138) (F-1163)

(1) A spider sewed at night    
Without a light
Upon an arc of white.

(2) If ruff it was of dame    
Or shroud of gnome
Himself himself inform.

(3) Of immortality    
His strategy
Was physiognomy.

(Below: an original manuscript version
without editing or imposed lineation.)

(1) A Spider  
sewed at Night
Without a Light
Upon an Arc of
  White –

(2) If Ruff it was  
of Dame
Or Shroud of Gnome
Himself himself
  inform –

(3) Of Immortality  
His Strategy
  Was Physiognomy –

~ Emily Dickinson

Commentary adapted from Emily Dickinson's Poems & Letters
(1) "The spider as an artist has never been employed though his
surpassing merit is freely certified by every broom and Bridget
throughout a Christian Land — neglected son of genius
I take thee by the hand." ~ (J-1275) (F-1373)
(1-on something from nothing)
"What then? Why nothing, only, your inference therefrom!" ~ (J-0180) (F-0177)
(1) "That isn't an empty blank where I began — it is so full of
affection that you can't see any — that's all." ~ (L #32)
(1) "The hills are red — are gray — are white — are
'born again.'" ~ (L #207)
(1-sewed at Night)
(when ED had eye problems)

"Leave my Needle in the furrow —
Where I put it down —
I can make the zigzag stitches
Straight — when I am strong —
Till then — dreaming I am sewing
Fetch the seam I missed —
Closer — so I — at my sleeping —
Still surmise I stitch —"
~ (J 0617) (F-0681)
(1-2) "[The spider] plies from nought to nought — in unsubstantial
trade — supplants our tapestries with his — in half
the period —" ~ (J-0605) (F-0513)
(1-3) "Best witchcraft is geometry to a Magician's eye."
~ (L #350) (J-1158) (F-1158)
(1-3) "You seem to take a smiling view of my finery. If you knew how
solemn it was to me, you might be induced to curtail your jests. My
sphere is doubtless calicoes, nevertheless . . . ." ~ (L #228)
(1-3) "Night is the morning's canvas —
larceny, legacy — death but
our rapt attention to immortality." ~ (J-0007) (F-0016)
(2-dame) "A cobweb — wove . . . like the veil unto the lady's face —
but every mesh — a citadel — and dragons — in the crease —"
~ (J-0398) (F-0544)
(2-see gnome) "I, too in daisy mound possess hid treasure." ~ (L #222)
(2) "I could not weigh myself, myself." ~ (L #261)
(2) "She did not sing as we did, it was a different tune —
herself to her a music — as bumble-bee of June."
~ (L #197) (J-0014) (F-0005)
(3) "A flippant fly upon the pane — a spider at his trade again —
an added strut in Chanticleer — a flower expected everywhere . . .
and Nicodemus' Mystery receives its annual reply!"
~ (biblical ref. John 3:1-21) (J-0140) (F-0090)
(3) "How mighty to the insecure thy physiognomy
to whom not any face cohere —
unless concealed in thee." ~ (J-1499) (F-1397)
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