interiority in Dickinson

	Fri, 17 Sep 1999 14:34:32 -0400 (EDT)

		on Dickinson and interiority

Joan wrote:

 As I alluded to in my earlier comments, I think maybe the "Impregnable of
= Eye" is describing the " Chambers as the Cedars". If so, I interpret
that = as meaning that outsiders cannot look inside.  Outsiders cannot
penetrate = just by looking.  I had felt that this was some kind of
reference to the = poet's sense of privacy, perhaps.  That, even though
poets make their = words available to the reading public, there is still
an element of the = personal--the private-- that the poet
retains--maintaining an elusivity, = perhaps, while also being open to
possibility, i.e., from the reader's = perspective.  Am I way off on this?


Al now adds:

The closets cannot be seen into (they are impregnable of eye). (Note that
"of eye" is not strictly speaking a correct American-English idiom. Yet it
does make sense. Is this mere awkwardness, resulting from Emily's attempts
to jam huge things into a small contorted poetic space?)

So the closets are mysterious. And yet the house is open--lots of windows
and no roof. So you have

		the typical Dickinsonian interiority
along with	openness of meaning 
along with	complexity of architecture

The house of poetry! 

The house of prose would be closed on the outside (to the outside) and yet
open within. Emily's house is open on the outside and closed in the
interior spaces.

Since we are heading toward Whitman, I might point out that Emily is in
this sense just the opposite of Walt. Walt is impatient with interiority.
(Let it all hang *out*.)


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