Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Room of My Own: A Set of Tanka for Emily Dickinson

clad in lily-white
she sweeps into each room
and out again . . . .
the woman in my vision
remains a winter dream

loneliness ...
the thing with feathers
perches on my heartstrings
singing there is no there there
throughout this snowy night


  1. Below is excerpted from the Wikipedia entry, Talk:Gertrude Stein ("there is no there there"):

    "What was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there." -Gertrude Stein, Everybody's Autobiography (1937), ch. 4

    The original context was this: Stein, having lived in France for many years, was on a lecture tour of the United States. While in California she visited Oakland, where she had spent some of her childhood. She found, however, that her childhood home no longer existed:

    "The house the big house and the big garden and the eucalyptus trees and the rose hedge naturally were no longer existing, what was the use, if I had been then my little dog would know me but if I had not been I then that place would not be the place that I could see. I did not like the feeling, who has to be themselves inside them, not any one and what is the use of having been if you are to go on being and if not why is it different and if it is different why not." (ch. 4).

    Over the years the phrase "there is no there there" has come to mean someone or something lacking interest or individuality; a mere existence, empty at the core. - InvisibleSun 00:08, 8 September 2007 (UTC) .

    "There there is no there" has come to express the anonymity and blandness of suburban development... —

  2. These two tanka really resonate with me, Chen-ou. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Jenny:

      Glad my tanka resonate with you.