Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Belle of Amherst Will Kick Your Ass

We've been reading Emily Dickinson in my Major American Writers class, and I always love reading her work; it seems almost endlessly generative, almost infinitely provocative in its layerings and associations. So it's probably not surprising that her poems, in their resistance to easy thinking, have been put to use by dissenters. An article from about the Manchester, Vermont, poetry reading in Febuary 2003 called "A Poetry Reading in Honor of the Right to Protest as a Patriotic and Historical Tradition", quotes the poem by the self-proclaimed Belle of Amherst.

Here's that poem:

Much Madness is divinest Sense--
To a discerning Eye--
Much Sense--the starkest Madness--
'Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail--
Assent, and you are sane--
Demur--you're straightway dangerous
And handled with a Chain--

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