Set 11, 2015

On “as syllable from sound”

Adding only that syllable is shaped by man (perhaps man-shaped as well). Sound is yes, as you put it, rain, nature, everything else. Thanks! Good points also re: subversion in Dickinson's milieu.

The syllable is the human translation of sound. In one sense it might lose much of what the sound is (as in anything that is translated) but it gains so much in terms of the work of ear and nerves, all that brain activity, and later mouth and tongue and lips.

That "if they do" is at once both authoritative and open. Something very much like ED's narrow hands, or the image of the tippler.

An odd syllable if you just take it by itself. But it does the job. I think the physical values are important here, brain rather than mind, sky rather than heaven. I read this poem long before encountering "I dwell in Possibility" here, and it this Brain/Sky comparison was the first thing I thought of when I came upon the narrow hands/Paradise pair.

Love the sound of "syllable" and how it stretches into three what signifies just one.

Or if she was aware of the definition of sound by way of music. Following the Academus Rudiments Primer: Sound does not exist in the atmosphere, but only in our consciousness. When there is no hearer there is no sound, only waves.

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