The Soul Has Bandaged Moments

The Soul Has Bandaged Moments

Emily Dickinson was one of the most prolific and original authors of her time. She constantly challenged the existing framework and definitions of poetry by her experimental expression. The speakers in Dickinson’s poetry are often sharp observers who see inescapable limitations of their society, while projecting their imagined escapes. In her poem The Soul Has Bandaged Moments, Dickinson explores the power of emotion, with this speaker often feeling a lack of control of, and mercy toward her emotions. What is the most tragic aspect of this poem, is that even during good times, the speaker feels the joy is tainted by the knowledge that their old fears will return. 

“The Soul has Bandaged moments –
When too appalled to stir –
She feels some ghastly Fright come up
And stop to look at her –

Salute her, with long fingers –
Caress her freezing hair –
Sip, Goblin, from the very lips
The Lover – hovered – o’er –
Unworthy, that a thought so mean
Accost a Theme – so – fair –

The soul has moments of escape –
When bursting all the doors –
She dances like a Bomb, abroad,
And swings opon the Hours,

As do the Bee – delirious borne –
Long Dungeoned from his Rose –
Touch Liberty – then know no more –
But Noon, and Paradise

The Soul’s retaken moments –
When, Felon led along,
With shackles on the plumed feet,
And staples, in the song,

The Horror welcomes her, again,
These, are not brayed of Tongue”

Image Credits:
Feature Image: Taisiia Stupak, On Unsplash, Creative Commons