First of all: the word “grace”! I have called the word “love” one of the greatest in all language. But that word was inevitable. With grace it is different. To have developed a sensitivity to become aware of that emotional quality which we circumscribe with this word grace, honors, SO I think, the human race. It honors Emily that she had often need for this word in her descriptions of the sexual act. It honors her even more that she was aware again and again of that ex¬perience in grace that the sexual act can be and very often is. The men have ample opportunities to wake up to the blessedness of grace the woman showers on them in the sexual union. We seldom stop to realize that women feel an equal gratitude for the grace, the blessedness, the man bestows on them, or could bestow on them, during this union, and even mores so in the evidences of his love emotions that precede it. And yet, it is this very grace that is to woman the bread of life in love. She is forced to ask for it, explicitly, all too often.
We should not be surprised that Emily often finds the lover’s grace in his penis, in his glans. For it is with these that the man can bring gratitude to the sexual act. For fulfilment received he strives to let his partner find her requirement also. The fountain of love is grace and gratitude if lover and beloved, both, can drink of it freely.
And still within a summer’s night
A something so transporting bright
I clap my hands to see ¬
Then veil my too inspecting face
Lest such a subtle – shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me .
: ejaculation is the grace, orgasm the “clipping of the hand, to see.”
I had rather wear her grace
Than an Earl’s distinguished face
: I have surmised once that the presence of the Newman girls in Austin’s house across the lawn (they became his and Sue’s wards for a time) very possibly gave the outer stimulus for this poem. The grace of the virgin, the budding woman, is com¬pared with the purple glans, the “Earl’s distinguished race”.
My River runs to thee -
Blue Seal Wilt welcome me?
My River waits reply -
Oh Sea – look graciously -
: the “river”, here, stands probably for the arousal that runs concomitant with the vaginal moisture; “blue sea” thus refers, not to the semen emission, as usually, but to the glans, the purple glans on which it appears. The plea, therefore, is for mutual climax, penis’ “gracious look”.
The Court is far away
No Umpire – have I
My Sovreign is offended
To gain his grace – I’d die!
: the “court” is glans; to be allowed to fasten with orgasmic grip upon it the “grace” for which she , that is: achieve her fulfillment in orgasms
One hour – of her Sovreign’s face!
: glans appears again, this time as the “sovreign’s face”, possession of which is again asked. Since intercourse is “day”, an “hour” obviously is but one short phase of it. “Niggard grace” hints that granting her orgasm would but be ordinary, almost cheap gratitude on the part of penis.
Could dimly recollect a grace
I think they call it “God”
: the God renowned to ease extremity is penis in prime; thus “grace” is the same. This poem 293 is important because it gives detailed information on how very gradually she learned the technique of after-ejaculation orgasm.
One Year ago – jots what?
God spell the word! – I-cant -
Was’t Grace? Not that -
Was’t Glory? That will do -
: "an intercourse ago -jots what?
Let penis spell it out – I cant -
Was it the climax simultaneous? – Not that
Was it orgasm which I snatched prematurely?
That will do -
Actually, “grace” and “glory” refer as much to “glans captured before ejaculation” (glory) and glans given in mutual climax (grace).
I crave Him grace Or Summer Boughs,
If such an Outcast be
Who never heard that fleshless Chant –
Rise – solemn – on the Tree,
: the “phraseless melody” lies in the arrival of the semen quanta at the contraceptive film; this film is the “summer bough” on pe¬nis/tree. To the neglected spinster, who never “heard” it, it would be The grace-denied.
When Thrones accost my Hands
With “Me, Miss, Me”
I’ll unroll Thee -
Dominion dowerless – beside this Grace
(variant: Creation – powerless – To peer this Grace – )
: the poem is riddlesome. From the defiant tenor of it one must surmise that a forbidden orgasm is meant, and that would be either the lesbian intimacy or the freely snatched orgasm. I tip on the latter, even though, but a few minutes ago, I guessed “glory” to be the symbol for that.
’Tis Opposites – entice -
Deformed Men – ponder Grace -
: a difficulty comes in here with the word “deformed”; that “men” mean penis, or penis in plural, of that there can be little doubt. But is gross erection the deformity meant, or is the collapse after emission? In the former case, “grace” would be the woman’s selfless loving-bosom service, as opposite to the man’s selfish dominance. In the second the “grace” would lie in the frustra¬tion of the woman’s orgasmic desire. In either case the entice¬ment would be felt by the woman.
The Grace that I -was choose -
To Me – surpassed the Crown
That was the Witness for the Grace -
’Twas even that ’twas Mine -
a mutual climax (Myself and It, in Majesty, were equally adorned) is described, and the “grace” lay in the fact that it was by the lover’s deliberate choice that it happened. But – and it is a big but – the subject could also be her first experience in the lesbian intimacy and to her the “grace” then would have lain in the circumstance that the beautiful Kate chose unseemly Emily for her lover/beloved.
Lest it fall -
And I a Pauper go -
Unfitted by an instant’s Grace
For the Contented – Beggar’s face
I wore – an hour ago -
: the glans had been gained by cautious method, but orgasm is on the razor’s edge and can still be lost. It would seem, though, that the “instant’s grace” was rather an instant’s curse.
The Churches are so frequent -
The ritual – so small -
The Grace so unavoidable -
To fail – is Infidel -
: sexual intercourse per se is here named the grace, but by implication mutual climax is meant.
To vitalize the Grace -
The Heaven hath a Hell -
Itself to signalize -
: for “grace” read selfdenying vaginal love service, for “hell” ejaculation.
But just to hear the Grace depart -
I never thought to see -
Afflicts me with a Double loss -
: penis/glans had come near enough to trigger the mutual climax, but escaped again. Thus penis/glans at the “spot” was the grace.
Nowhere to hide my dazzled Face -
No one to teach me that new Grace -
Nor introduce – my Soul -
: I would like to see in that again a description of the mutual climax, but it is somewhat difficult to see what vaginal knowhow could correspond to the dolling-up processes that are enumerated. If this refers to lesbian intimacy, then poem 472 might have to be reconsidered, the two following upon each other and appearing together in the same booklet(9).
And since the last – included both -
It would suffice my Prayer
But just for One – to stipulate -
And Grace would grant the Pair -
: “content” and “heaven” would be a penis in prime and a climax, the last including both, that is: being mutual. “Grace” is benevolent penis.
Baptized, before, without the choice,
But this time, consciously, of Grace -
Unto supremer name -
: if to be baptized is to be ejaculated upon, the conscious baptism would be the one she participates in fully, the mutual climax. The “supremer name” is “queen”. “Grace” is benevolent penis.
Had I presumed to gain
A Favor so remote -
The failure but confirm the Grace
In further Infinite
: the “grace” here seems to be mutual climax, gained, not by hoping for it, nor presuming it, but by “confident despair advancing upon the male ejaculation with faint, vaginal power”.
At last – the Grace in sight -
I shout unto my feet -
: and this is “grace” of glans, bedded in semen and shrunk.
And if the further Heaven -
Be Beautiful as they prepare
For those who worship Them
It is too difficult a Grace -
To justify the Dream -
: the “difficult grace”, the “further Heaven” would seem to be the after-ejaculation climax.
A Common Bliss
Were had for less
The price – is
even as the Grace
: This poem has many unsolved difficulties, but I think the “grace” is mutual climax, achieved when penis bends his eye “best beauty’s way”(in the direction vagina wishes).
Then both her Hands of Haze
Put up – to hide her parting Grace
From our unfitted eyes.
: the final glimmer of glans in shrinking is the “parting grace”; this time it seems to have been frustratingly sudden. The “hands of haze” would be glans under semen and the contraceptive with the semen in it.
That Men call “Paradise” -
Itself be fairer we suppose -
But how Ourself shall be
Adorned, for a Superior Grace -
Not yet our eyes can see -
: penis, in his “paradise” is adorned with semen and a contraceptive. How vagina shall be dressed for a superior grace, her orgasm, she cannot know yet at this juncture it may be a glans still firm enough to afford orgasmic grasp, or one so shrunk it will condemn vagina to frustration.
The thought of them – so fair invites -
It looks too tawdry Grace
To stay behind – with just the Toys
We bought – to ease their place -
: thinking what mutual climax could have meant, after-ejaculation orgasm “looks too tawdry grace”(or rather: the semen-embedded, shrunk glans looks so).
Many things – are fruitless -
’tis a Baffling Earth -
But there is no Gratitude
Like the Grace-of Death -_
: there is no gratitude(in sexual intercourse) like the grace of being requited.
Nor could I rise – with You -
Because Your Face
Would put out Jesus’ -
That New Grace
Glow plain – and foreign
On my homesick eye
Except that You than He
Shone closer by -
: as all through this greatest of her poems, the difficulty of choosing between lesbian or heterosexual meaning is a big one. That a latter one might be the pertinent one is strongly sug¬gested by the two stanzas immediately preceding it, which admitted the inadmissibility of mutual climax and asserted her right to after-ejaculation orgasm. “Nor could I rise with you -” might therefore mean: "nor could I anticipate you with my pre¬mature orgasm – since it would inhibit your glans and you collapse, in impotence . . . But the “new grace glowing plain – and foreign on her homesick eye” is just too hard to decipher in that case.
To fetch Her Grace – and Hue -
: as this is outlined to be erection’s task, the subject seems to be semen in testes. His erection and his purple glans would thus be his “grace”.
The Heaven vests for each
In that small Deity
It craved the grace to worship
Some bashful Summer’s Day -
: “heaven” is sexual enjoyment, “small deity” male and female genitals; the grace to worship the grace of intercourse.
The Grace – Myself – might not obtain
Confer upon My Flower -
Refracted but a Countenance -
For I – inhabit Her -_
:the grace is glans, the flower orgasm.
Be the Merchant
Of the Heavenly Grace -
:set conditions on my having your penis/glans.
’Twould seem that God should be
the nearest Neighbor to -
And Heaven – a convenient Grace
For Show, or Company -
:the “houses on the hill” as the "little dwelling places elsewhere, seem to refer to the semen quanta piling up within the contraceptive. God/penis would be the nearest neighbor to them, contraceptive/Heaven the convenient Grace for show or company.
The Summer Grace for Notice strove -
:the summer grace seems to be semen in testes.
Her Grace is all she has -
And that so least displays -
An Art to recognize must be,
Another Art to praise.
: this could apply to vagina in loving bosom service; I hold it probable, however, that it is a sarcastic reference to penis as having only a grace per se, but with no appreciation of vagina’s services, let alone a gratitude to give her orgasm( praise).
Old the Grace, but new the Subjects -
Old, indeed, the East,
Yet upon His Purple Programme
Every Dawn is first.
:"the same old intercourse, the same penis, the same vagina; the same also the semen rise; but for purple glans and penis in his peak erection every emission is like it were the first one.
Of silken Speech and specious Shoe
A Traitor is the Bee
His service to the newest Grace
:the “newest grace” may not be vagina but contraceptive.
Thou knowest every Wo -
:the grace is glans, the flower orgasm.
Needless to tell thee – so -
But can’st thou do
The Grace next to it – heal?
: penis in emission is the “taper” which she “made to shine”. If penis/glans is not “Madonna” then things become problematical, for orgasm is obviously the grace next to the "shining taper.
And I arise – and in my Dream -
Do Thee distinguished Grace -
: this is difficult, and that usually means: this must be lesbian. But it is an obligation on me to establish the heterosexual meaning whenever possible, and to give a lesbian interpretation only, if such a one is obvious, or it is the more possible one of two.
Grace of Wealth and Grace of Station
Less accounted than
An unknown Esteem possessing -
Estimate – who can -
: she talks of loving bosom service in which she sacrifices the graces of wealth and station, which should mean: her earlier readiness for orgasm as wealth, the capture of the glans, the grace of station. In other words: she sacrifices the surety of having fulfillment first, for the “unknown esteem” of after-ejaculation orgasm – “all forgot for recollecting just this paltry one”.
The turning o’er and o’er my face
For evidence it be the Grace -
: The outer poem might be said to be a dedication to the hope of the lover’s ultimate return, and a concentration on how she can make his finding back to her so attractive, as to make her the favorite in his affections again. And such longing may well have been the cause of the poem. However, the inner poem lies on a different level: she condoles herself about being condemned to loving-bosom service (God, how I wish I could find another expression for it) and speculates she might so improve in va¬ginal know-how as to make her “fairest of the Earth”, And she envisions his glans (gaze) in the surprise of the new experience, wondering whether it really be Emily , and yes, her vagina, “her grace” – he had left behind One Day.
My Season’s furthest Flower -
I tenderer commend
Because I found her Kinsmanless,
A Grace without a Friend.
: the flower is orgasmic arousal, a kinsmanless grace because glans had already shrunk and could not be gotten hold of.
And a Company – our pleasure
To discourse alone -
Gracious now to me as any -
Gracious unto none -
: I do not pretend to know the hidden meaning of this poem, nor am I, as of now, even sure it has an intravaginal happening for subject.
No Ordinance be seen
So gradual the Grace
A pensive Custom it becomes
: I have made some fantastic speculative wanderings in the maze of this inner poem, thinking at first it were a lesbian poem, then, since the cricket is its hero, that female orgasmic arousal be the subject. Having travelled miles of new understanding since, I have come to suspect that a male ejaculation is again described. Studying it now with new attention, I see, that male ejaculation it is, but only a phase in it, a very circumscribed one: the arrival of semen within the contraceptive, as vaginal feeling becomes aware of it. And that, I finally have divined it, is what the “cricket” means: not the clitoris, not orgasmic arousal, but the “soundeffects” of semen arrival in the contraceptive. And this too, as we see, can be “grace”, indeed, in poem
1775 she confesses “the cricket is her (nature’s) utmost of elegy to me.”
Could Adamant refuse
So small a Grace
: the plea of a frustrated vagina for orgasm is fervent here, yet may the outer occasion comprise the poems full and only meaning: the plea for the lover’s return to Amherst and to her bed. For it is 1866 when she wrote it.
To make Routine a Stimulus
Remember it can cease -
Capacity to terminate
Is a specific Grace -
: this too, could be interpreted to mean that loving bosom action is involved, while the lover’s prolonged absence and neglect of her may be the real cause. While apparently saying, in the inner poem: let the ardor of may vaginal love service not abate, for this old penis is getting impotent and might experience an inhibition at any time, – the actual message is but that old homely: absence makes the heart grow fonder. A specific grace!
Like Time’s insidious wrinkle
On a beloved Face
We clutch the Grace the tighter
Though we resent the crease.
: here we are back with after-ejaculation orgasm, with the semen emission’s “insidious wrinkle” upon the glans and orgasm clutch the tighter for it, though in resentment that it must be this “crumb” instead of mutual climax. Wrinkled glans is “grace”
How general a Grace
Allotted two -
: a premature orgasm seems under discussion here, and by the “general grace allotted two” not intercourse between penis and vagina is meant, but her “Heart”(orgasmic desire) and “me” (loving bosom).
Warm in her Hand these accents lie
While faithful and afar
The Grace so awkward for her sake
Its fond subjection wear.
: two “her” are dramatis personae here: penis’ “hand” (testes-urethra) and the “accents” warm (semen quanta rising) – and vagina in freeze-up, who had been awkward(loving-bosom service) for the other her’s(penis’) sake. It is characteristic of Emily’s poetic productions in the seventies and eighties, these casual jottings on any sort of paper that came to hand, that she reaches into the long parade of intercourses and picks out just one moment, one single aspect of it. Usually it is a moment in feeling isolated by an acutely experienced awareness.
An antiquated Grace
Becomes that cherished Face
As well as prime
: glans in after-emission repose is the “grace”
Without, perhaps, the riot
But graphicer for Grace
: after-ejaculation orgasm has found a new symbol: October grace.
A curteous, but harrowing grace,
As Guest, that would be gone -
: penis/glans in the after emission decline.
To know her an intemperance
As gracious as a Boon (variant)
: the “her” is penis, to know her – to have orgasm on his glans.
Its place is in the Human Heart
And in the Heavenly Grace -
: as emission of semen is the subject, the conclusion is inevitable that “human heart” is the vagina and the “Heavenly Grace” the contraceptive. I have long felt the need of symbols that can differentiate between vagina and contraceptive as the receptacles or emission, I am glad to see that here she furnishes two such.
The ecstasy to guess
Were a receipted bliss
If grace could talk.
: the grace that cannot talk presumably is the eager penis; he is unable to receipt the bliss of guessing, vagina does in loving bosom faith. Of course, the guessing can also be done in the after ejaculation attempt.
Oh what a Grace is this,
What Majesties of Peace,
That having breathed
The fine – ensuing Right
Without Diminuet Proceed!
: Oh what a grace is this that after “June” “October” comes
Oh Future! thou secreted peace
Or subterranean wo -
Is there no wandering route of grace
That leads away from thee -
: the sense of this is difficult to get the hold of. The key, of course, lies in the symbol “future” – but what specific sexual meaning can there lie in this term “future”? The intercourse itself is fraught with “future” since it is childmaking. Semen also is, while (as sexology has pointed up the woman’s orgasm is no necessary contribution to this future in the child. But Emily does not know that and seems to have believed that the “future”, the “childmaking future” lies in mutual climax. But whether or not she actually believed that and thus included in the vaguely comprised meanings of “future”, it is clear that heterosexual intercourse alone and fully can expose the meaning. And thus she means to ask: Oh intercourse! ejaculated peace and vaginal woe! Has nature no wandering route of grace that leads away from thee (that releases humankind from this blessed curse)? Is there no wise man of the sexual know invented by cunning men, to find safe ways of contraception that can make intercourse safely enjoyable and thus enable women to participate in it totally, without fear?
A face devoid of love or grace,
A hateful, hard, successful face,
: by this must be meant a penis/glans in grossest engorgement out for his exclusive pleasure, and totally unconcerned whether he inflict pain. A penis for which she invented many specific symbols, like “dirk”, “spear” etc.