Saturday, October 2, 2010

~~~Emily Dickinson A-Poem-A-Day~~"When I count the seeds" 40/1775

When I count the seeds
That are sown beneath,
To bloom so, bye and bye —
When I con the people
Lain so low,
To be received as high —
When I believe the garden
Mortal shall not see —
Pick by faith its blossom
And avoid its Bee,
I can spare this summer, unreluctantly

Emily Dickinson

There is definitely a typo in this poem! Oh my goodness it makes no sense! "When I 'con' the people"? I am sure it should read "When I count the people" that lain so low. In other words the dead persons are like the seeds that are sown and underground and people too are buried like spiritual seed to arise. How could the people at the Emily Dickinson Institute NOT KNOW about this! It is SUCH A glaring ERROR! oH WELL! Honestly! Didn't anyone notice this?

So Emily is saying, roundabout, that those that are "lain low" will be "received as hign" as in come High Heaven.

Emily believes the Garden (or the earth) will not see the "Mortal" that are not going to be "blooming" on earth, rather, picked or taken by their faith by the Maker and they can avoid the sting of "bee", and other mortal coil effects. Persons can, like seeds, be counted in mass numbers once they are "planted" six feet down. Sort of morbid, Ms Emily, but you did taste death quite frequently so maybe these poems are your way of dealing with her grief. Odd she turns comedic at times, using quippy satire to describe her plight. I guess that is how many deal with the finality and the excessive grief and a modern way of seeing the world, Ms Emily! Very cathartic!

When Emily says "I can spare this summer" unreluctanly it is a bit of satire here, she does not want to die "this summer" so she "spares" it and then states instead of "reluctantly" which would be the logical conclusion, Emily provides a twist and states "unreluctantly" which means she really cannot spare this summer or her lack of faith and needs to, unreluctantly study her Bible! Miss Emily certainly is funny!
Again, the death theme, allusions to the grave, flowers and her lovely bee personal imagery. Maybe just summer ending would create this "death" poem? Hard to say as we dont have any further providence in regards to time, place, etc. Maybe we could try to compile some comparative summations in regards to the motivations for this particular speech, a date stamp on each poem would certainly help! However, this not being the case, we would see the imagery around the time of various events in her life to summise the time frame of each poem.

Such style Ms Emily! YOu've outdone the overgrown garden yet again!


Chiccoreal's Take On Ms Emily Dickinson's poem "When I count the seeds"

When I count seeds
I rarely think of those seeds
being counted again once seeded
but then again
I wasnt born in the 1800's
when ever bit of food meant survival
and every life buried is a close friend
or relative or future spouse
Ms Emily unreluctantly
says FAITH makes HEAVEN SO
but not at all in those words
that seem to be painted
like a puzzle in a pallette uncommon
She leads us and gives us here, her plight
her ingenuous mind can conjure
if we think we cannot
we only have to think as Ms Emily would
way back when a century or more ago
what was life really like back then
how did people really think when they felt trapped
could there be a way to be free in poetry?
innocent and fanciful free?
Like Ms Emily?
A modern day Grandma Moses of words
and throw caution to the wind
and other natural stylized imagery
Ms Emily laughs
In the face of aridity
and much disenchantment
Heaven's Gated Pinion
Very Brave New World
with no sting of Emily's Bee!
no sting of death!
Death Where Is Your Sting?
Says Ms Emily roundabout!
Ms Emily's foot one foot forward
not six feet down
into the Modern World of Satire
and biting sarcasm
lives on and on
Long Live Ms Emily!



  1. My comment from yesterday must have got lost!! I see this as a poem of hope. She sees the way the seeds all bloom. She sees how the dead are raised up to heaven. Therefore, she has no fear of growing old....

  2. Thanks Peter! Yes, I see this concept of hope being the promise of spring eternal, of seeds sprouting becoming and returning. Just as God's good graces and nature allows! A return with no fear in the aging process! Great comments!

  3. I don't think con is a misprint. To con can mean to study or examine closely.

    I enjoy your exuberant conninng of Miss Emily's poem.

  4. Thanks-you for your comments! Dear Vicki: Oh my, I think in the future I shall look up words I don't recognize in the online dictionary! Who knew I didn't know this? Learning something new everyday!Which is a great thing! Well I will have to work my brain around this word "con" meaning; How did I not get this? dictionary to find

    Con: 5 meanings!

    and In this poem could be to study and/or to steer...who knew? Vicki did! Thanks Vicki!I'm on a learning curve here! You're an angel!
    con 1 (kn)
    In opposition or disagreement; against: debated the issue pro and con.
    1. An argument or opinion against something.
    2. One who holds an opposing opinion or view.


    [Short for contra.]

    con 2 (kn)
    tr.v. conned, con·ning, cons
    1. To study, peruse, or examine carefully.
    2. To learn or commit to memory.


    [Middle English connen, to know, from Old English cunnan; see gn- in Indo-European roots.]


    conner n.

    con 3 or conn (kn) Nautical
    tr.v. conned, con·ning, cons or conns
    To direct the steering or course of (a vessel).
    1. The station or post of the person who steers a vessel.
    2. The act or process of steering a vessel.


    [From cond, from Middle English conduen, from Old French conduire, from Latin condcere, to lead together; see conduce.]

    con 4 (kn) Slang
    tr.v. conned, con·ning, cons
    To swindle (a victim) by first winning his or her confidence; dupe.
    A swindle.
    Of, relating to, or involving a swindle or fraud: a con artist; a con job.


    [Short for confidence.]

    con 5 (kn)
    n. Slang
    A convict.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.