Image and Description for Poem #756

One Blessing had I than the rest
So larger to my Eyes
That I stopped gauging - satisfied-
For this enchanted size -

It was the limit of my Dream -
The focus of my Prayer -
A perfect - paralyzing Bliss -
Contented as Despair -

I knew no more of Want - or Cold -
Phantasms both become
For this new Value in the Soul -
Supremest Earthly Sum -

The Heaven below the Heaven above -
Obscured with ruddier Blue -
Life's Latitudes leant over - full -
The Judgment perished - too -

Why Bliss so scantily disbursed -
Why Paradise defer -
Why Floods be served to Us - in Bowls -
I speculate no more -


I studied this poem at the Chautauqua Institute in New York, it is a cultural, theoligical, art, retreat. I was sitting in their beautiful outdoor ampitheatre for a church service, when I heard a different version of the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!”. Instead of the words, “The Father, and The Son, and The Holy Spirit.” we sang “in Earth, and Sky, and Sea.” It was an epiphany for me, I soon realized I had been fighting this religion that Emily Dickinson was struggling against, a very patriarchal, oppressing, excluding, divisive religion. If you sin you are damned to hell, so be good, do what we tell you, and you will go to heaven. Unfortunately, there are still some religions that have not progressed, but fortunately, there are. Fortunately we now see beyond barriers that where never really there in the first place.

In poem #756 Emily Dickinson foresaw the absense of barriers between heaven and earth. “The Heaven below the Heaven above -, Obscured with ruddier Blue -, Life’s Latitudes leant over – full -. The Judgment perished – too- “. In “Emily Dickinson, Modern Critical Views” Shira Wolosky writes, “It’s her dream of, synecdoche, where the one earthly blessing would represent heaven, while heaven would include and place all earthly parts.”

The last stanza she questions why people would think otherwise, but in the end, who cares, “I speculate no more -“


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