Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dropped into the Ether Acre

Here's proof that our experiences color the way we read what we read. (Text isn't everything! Reading, writing, and being are dynamic and interwoven!)

Emily Dickinson wrote this in 1863. My last call - fifteen hours in the O.R., followed by epidural and C-section joy on O.B. till 4 in the morning - definitely influenced the images that came into my mind as I read it.

Dropped into the Ether Acre -
Wearing the Sod Gown -

Bonnet of Everlasting Laces -

Brooch-frozen on -

Horses of Blonde-and Coach of Silver -

Baggage a strapped Pearl -

Journey of Down-and Whip of Diamond -

Riding to meet the Earl -


And one last mention of ether in poetry before I go to bed:

"Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;"

-T.S. Eliot, from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


Michael Leddy said...

This association is so idiosyncratic that I've hesitated to add it here. In the Dickinson poem that begins "I heard a Fly buzz – when I died," the line "With Blue – uncertain – stumbling Buzz" always reminds me of the childhood experience of being put under to have my tonsils out. I remember (or believe that I remember) something that felt like a wet paper towel being placed on my face, light showing through it, and a humming, buzzing sound like violins. And then I was out. Did these things happen? Did I dream them? I don't know!

gelci72 said...

I'm so glad you DID add your comment here! The last stanza of that poem is very anesthesia-like (from what patients tell me, and from what I've seen), especially considering the color of the drapes we use over patients (blue): With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz – / Between the light – and me – / And then the Windows failed – / and then I could not see to see – "

VERY anesthesia-like. Who knows - maybe she got some drop ether and wrote about it? :)