Image and Description for poem #1385

"Secrets" is a daily word
Yet does not exist -
Muffled - it remits surmise -
Murmured - it has ceased -
Dungeoned in the Human Breast
Doubtless secrets lie -
But that Grate inviolate -
Goes nor comes away
Nothing with a Tongue or Ear -
Secrets stapled there
Will emerge but once - and dumb -
To the Sepulchre -


Once a secret is told it really is no longer a secret, “it has ceased”.  We don’t want to tell our deepest darkest secrets, keeping them grated away, “Dungeoned in the Human Breast”.  This is for our own protection for grating them keeps us from harm.  But, as spiritual philosopher Pat Pope said,“when all said and done, your secret is “dumb” and already known to the infinite, “the Sepulchre’.”

What struck me most about this poem was the graphic word, “Tongue”.  Instead of, mouth, Dickinson choose the word, “Tongue”, and the tongue being “stapled”, to which I didn’t even know staples existed in the 19th century, was a great graphic image of a SECRET.


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