I wonder if it hurts to live – And if They have to try – And whether – couldThey choose between – It would not be – to die – (c) Emily Dickinson


NEWRY — In honor of Emily Dickinson’s 191st birthday this December 10th, The Bethel Citizen had a poetry contest to see who could write a poem in likes of her wit and darkness but in relation to the pandemic. Please see the poem below by Richard Bartholomew Stockwell of Newry.

Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. The majority of her poems were wrapped around the theme of immortality. Most of her works were discovered after her death, and while alive she lived most of her life in solitude. Her poems used slant rhymes, meaning it was near rhyme that sounded appealing but actually didn’t rhyme.

She was famous for writing poetry with unconventional capitalization and punctuation, though oddly, the few poems of hers that were published, were heavily edited and these elements were stripped away. However, the eighteen hundred other poems found after her death showed her signature style.

Winning Poem:

masked and distant
we do our best,
to carry on, persistently.

a frown, a smile, or maybe a grin,
simple sights can lead to bliss
eyes, ears, though now no mouth or chin,
we ponder how much is truly amiss.

Covered, how long, we do not know
hidden clues to read a face,
yet patiently we heed the flow,
our hearts and minds open to grace.

Richard Bartholomew Stockwell

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