Friday poem: 'The Moon was But a Chin of Gold'
by Emily Dickinson
The Moon was but a Chin of Gold
A Night or two ago –
And now she turns Her perfect Face
Upon the World below –
Her Forehead is of Amplest Blonde –
Her Cheek – a Beryl hewn –
Her Eye unto the Summer Dew
The likest I have known –
Her Lips of Amber never part –
But what must be the smile
Upon Her Friend she could confer
Were such Her Silver Will –
And what a privilege to be
But the remotest Star –
For Certainty She take Her Way
Beside Your Palace Door –
Her Bonnet is the Firmament –
The Universe – Her Shoe –
The Stars – the Trinkets at Her Belt –
Her Dimities – of Blue.
'The Moon was But a Chin of Gold' appears in To The Moon: An Anthology of Lunar Poems, edited by Carol Ann Duffy.
In her introduction to the anthology, Duffy writes: 'the moon has always been, and always will be, the supremely prized image for poets – a mirror to reflect the poetic imagination; language’s human smile against death’s darkness.' As the Moon passes in front of the Sun and sends us into semi-darkness today, it seemed only right to choose a poem from a collection that traces our relationship with it, from Sappho in 610 BC to Alice Oswald in the twenty-first century.
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