~ Filmmaker: Eliza Fitzhugh ~

“A word made Flesh…” by Emily Dickinson

A fascinating linguistic deconstruction of the poet’s lines just uploaded to Vimeo yesterday, by one Eliza Fitzhugh, for Dickinson’s 179th birthday. The multiple accents should remind us that now more than ever, with the advent of the web, Dickinson’s poetry belongs to the world. I spend some time yesterday looking up favorite Dickinson poems on popular poem-sharing sites and reading appreciative comments from places like Iran, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan — the traditional Sufi heartland. I had always thought her work would translate well to an audience weaned on Hafiz, Rumi, and Khayyam.

Here’s the text from R. W. Franklin’s variorum edition (the video repeats lines 9-10 for a conclusion):

A Word made Flesh is seldom
And tremblingly partook
Nor then perhaps reported
But have I not mistook
Each one of us has tasted
With ecstasies of stealth
The very food debated
To our specific strength –

A Word that breathes distinctly
Has not the power to die
Cohesive as the Spirit
It may expire if He –
“Made Flesh and dwelt among us”
Could condescension be
Like this consent of Language
This loved Philology.