Tuesday, July 28, 2020
This is my letter to the world
That never wrote to me
The simple news that Nature told
with tender majesty.
Her message is committed
to hands I cannot see,
For love of her, sweet countrymen
Judge tenderly of me.
To read Dickinson's poetry is to invite questions. Some of her poems existed in several versions. When it came to choosing words, she was a stickler and would rework a poem in order to make it appropriate for the person receiving it in a letter. In this poem, the most salient feature is Dickinson's metaphor of her poems as "my letter to the world." I do find it noteworthy that she speaks of Nature's "tender majesty." I think she chose tender for a good reason. She also commits Nature's news to "hands I cannot see." How many generations into the future did she imagine? I think she realized the earth was tender and needed care of many hands.
Honore' invites us to link our reflections on the word we chose for 2020. At the end of July, tender raises more questions while reminding me of the power in a poem. Tender, though fragile, is not necessary weak.
So today tendril from tender. Tender and tendril share the same root word. Tendrils, those thin coils of sensitive stem that stretch out in an effort to attach a plant to a secure support. They look fragile but once attached they have quite a grip. Tendrils of sweet pea, cucumber vine, and justice stretch out with hope. For me, taking care of the natural world and realizing its tender majesty is one of the paths to justice and peace.