Poem VAR #130

These are the days when birds come back
a very few a bird or two
to take a backward look

These are the days when skies put on
the old old sophistries of June
a blue and gold mistake

Oh fraud that cannot cheat the bee
almost thy plausibility
induces my belief

till ranks of seeds their witness bear
and softly through the altered air
hurries a timid leaf

Oh sacrament of summer days
oh last communion in the haze
permit a child to join

thy sacred emblems to partake
thy consecrated bread to break
taste thine immortal vine


HWL's Comment

Date of writing: 1979

Subject: I have assigned this poem tentatively to the “threepartite events” series in which I see suggestive evidence that E. and Kate and Bowles engaged in indulgencies together of probably orgiastic nature. I discarded the idea in relation with this poem 130, but take it up now again. The two birds coming back for a repeat look would be Sam and Kate. The time, I would guess: fall of 1859 (unless the whole time schedule given in the Variorum Edition and other of the Dickinsonia literature is wrong and should be set a year forward, beginning the Kate event in 1858). Let’s look at the symbolizations: “blue and gold” are the “sacred emblems” of glans in semen emission; to call it “a mistake” would come easy to one that had newly gotten the taste of lesbia. The “sophistries of June” point to heterosexual intercourse and the sophistries in it to aberrant or perverse practises in it. It is a fraud, the lesbian bee has found out, but so plausible a one that she almost fell for it again. The “altered air” in stanza 4 indicates that the heteroact is done and gone and that the “timid leaf” suggests the opening of the door to clitoris, the last two stanzas would describe the consummation of the lesbian act after the two women had accommodated and exhausted Bowles. This agrees with the sequence as described in other poems. None of these suggestive hints and iterative evidences can carry compelling conviction of course, but the accumulation of them in the positive direction could in the end.