Category Archives: Inspired emotion


Reaching for the stars.

Bewitched by false charms

while still inexperienced,

seeking affection.

Preying on naivety

soon their lust brought her ruin.




Leave a comment

Filed under As you read it, Inspired emotion, Self compositions, Tanka

A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘Safe in their alabaster chambers’

‘Safe in their Alabaster Chambers’ is about one of Emily Dickinson’s favourite themes: death. But, as so often with an Emily Dickinson poem, her treatment of this perennial theme is far from straightforward.

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers –
Untouched by Morning –
And untouched by noon –
Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection –
Rafter of Satin – and Roof of Stone!

Grand go the Years – in the Crescent – above them –
Worlds scoop their Arcs –
And Firmaments – row –
Diadems – drop – and Doges – surrender –
Soundless as dots – on a Disk of Snow –

Above, we’ve reproduced the 1861 edition of ‘Safe in their Alabaster Chambers’; an earlier version, from 1859, had slightly different wording. The poem considers the dead, ‘safe’ in their ‘Alabaster Chambers’ or tombs; nothing can affect the dead, not the coming of morning or the heat of noon, nor the passing of years, the fall of kings or queens (‘Diadems – drop’ neatly suggesting the falling of a royal crown as a dynasty crumbles), or the surrender of ‘Doges’ (rulers of city-states like Venice). These events make as little impact on the sleep of the dead as raindrops falling on snow.

All this makes perfectly good sense, of course. The dead are unconcerned with the passing of the day, or the seasons, or whole dynasties and changes of government. But Emily Dickinson seems to be implying something else by saying that the dead are safe in their alabaster chambers: this idea suggests someone tucked up safely in bed, protected from the ravages of the outside world. The clue is provided in the line ‘Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection’. The dead are ‘safe’ not just because they cannot be physically harmed, but because they are ready for the Resurrection, when – in Christian theology – the dead will rise from their tombs for the Last Judgement. The ‘Alabaster Chambers’, however, also imply wealth: these are the tombs of the rich, not some pauper’s grave.

The words Dickinson uses throughout the poem – ‘Grand’, ‘Diadems’, ‘Doges’ – similarly imply the well-to-do and aristocratic, summoning the idea of the wealthy leaving money in their wills when they die, for chaplains and others to say prayers for them in the afterlife, praying for their souls. In other words, this poem is not just about the dead, but a certain class of dead, we might say. In this context, Dickinson’s word ‘meek’ (‘the meek members of the Resurrection’) is decidedly ironic: Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that the meek are blessed, because they will inherit the earth; but there is little that is ‘meek’ in the rich dead that inhabit those alabaster chambers.

Leave a comment

Filed under General post, Inspired emotion, Re-blogged

Ronovan writes #203 #Haiku~Home & Free



Blow gentle sea breeze,

free my heart from this torment

call my spirit home

1 Comment

Filed under From the heart, Haiku, Inspired emotion, Self compositions

Bardic harmony

A shimmer of notes

cascades like a waterfall

onto chiming stones

a harp player’s ecstasy

harmony of the ancients

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspired emotion, Self compositions, Tanka

E haiku

Long ears in the grass

snarling dogs strain at the leash

darkness on the downs

Leave a comment

Filed under Factual, Haiku, Inspired emotion, Self compositions

Ronovan writes #Haiku #200


The fire in your eyes

and the ire in your answer

showed love’s bonds broken

Leave a comment

Filed under From the heart, Haiku, Inspired emotion, Self compositions

Ronovan writes Weekly poetry #Haiku #199


Instantly I saw

my cat was obsessed with you

a menage a trois

Leave a comment

Filed under As you read it, Haiku, Inspired emotion, Self compositions

Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 81, ENCHANT & SHAPE, #SynonymsOnly


Seductive power

and finely moulded beauty

in smooth alabaster

form flowing impressions through

the deft touch of the craftsman

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspired emotion, Self compositions, Tanka

Colleen’s Weekly 2018 #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge, No. 70: “DESTINY & CHALLENGE” #SynonymnsOnly


The journey
Though the path of life
may be strewn with obstacles
only joy awaits
achievements are as nothing
memories will be your fate


Filed under From the heart, Inspired emotion, Self compositions, Tanka

100 Word Wednesday: Week 56


The old department store had been standing at the junction for over a hundred years. With it’s tower and four storeys it had been hailed as the building of the century. The tenement buildings on either side with small shops and craftsmen’s dwellings on the ground floors and over-crowded apartments  above looked sadly on when the doors first opened on the bright, electrical illuminated concourse. But it was a foretaste of the nightmare to come. Thirty storey and higher skyscrapers now filled the skyline. The incessant drizzle only added to the mood when news of impending demolition was made public.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flash fiction, Inspired emotion, Self compositions