“an element of blank”


PAIN has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,         5
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

Emily Dickinson

5 thoughts on ““an element of blank”

  1. i must, with great respect to Ms Dickinson, offer an alternative.

    pain claries and sharpens and lets me know exactly whats going on, pain reminds me i’m alive…

  2. Well, I’ve heard that said before. I can only say in response, much depends on the level of pain. I’ve had some that was hardly clarifying, though that can be the effect when it’s over.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Perhaps Dickinson’s concept of pain is true in the sense that pain is always pain, as in it does not end or have a beginning because it is always somewhere, transferring from one person to another. However on the personal level, I know exactly when pain visits me, incorporates my body, and when it leaves. I don’t need pain to feel alive. I feel pain just by thinking of it or seeing others suffering from it.

    Have you read Scarry before?

  4. Hi Kitty. Great interpretation of Dickinson’s words! I hadn’t thought of it that way, nor had I heard of Scarry till I followed your link, but I will definitely follow up and find her work. Very interesting. Thanks for it.

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