Emily Dickinson

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D recorded on the 25th of June 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

Emily Dickinson is considered to be one of the greatest poets to emerge from the USA. It wasn’t until after her death in 1886, when over 1800 of her poems were discovered, that her real genius came to prominence. On this show we read and discuss her poem Summer Showers and look into why she still has an influence in the study and development of poetry.

If you have difficulty listening to this broadcast a text version of the poem is included after the soundbar.

To hear this recording of Poetic Beats, press the arrow to the left of the soundbar below.



Summer Shower

A drop fell on the apple tree,

Another on the roof;

A half a dozen kissed the eaves,

And made the gables laugh.


A few went out to help the brook,

That went to help the sea.

Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,

What necklaces could be!


The dust replaced in hoisted roads,

The birds jocoser sung;

The sunshine threw his hat away,

The orchards spangles hung.


The breezes brought dejected lutes,

And bathed them in the glee;

The East put out a single flag,

And signed the fete away.


Emily Dickinson.


A superb post and discussion, Davy. This is a sublime poem and in each reading new lines, thoughts shine out! Thank you for the fascinating insight into her life and poetry. I had no idea about her unusual punctuation and that this was probably one reason they were not published until after her death. It’s hard to believe it took a century for the original format to be published. I wonder why she never gave her poems titles … is there any explanation? I would like to image they are written in a flurry, one after the other, that she didn’t want to waste time on the mere thought of titles, preferring to start work on her next poem!

Here’s to many more days shower-free … although lots of football still to come. Not a particular football follower we are keen to see an England/Sweden match which my husband says is a possibility! The battle lines are already drawn!

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    Thank you for your thoughts and insights Annika. All I know about the lack of titles is it was common among poets of the time to number the poems with titles being added by publishers. Wordsworth’s, Daffodils, was written untitled and the title added at a much later date. Maybe the poets saw their work as one continuous poem, with one leading into another? I will have a look into this.

    As for the world cup from an English perspective we are not looking beyond the Columbia game. We have a great ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory lol 🙂

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Davy D, thank you for giving us this poem by Emily Dickinson and for the very interesting back ground to her poetry. 1800 ! poems lying unread and unshared. Was she too free and forward thinking, did the establishment get hiccups?

Reading the poem I feel deep joy and want to laugh. Starting with the first stanza she has got my full attention and I wish I could tell her how much I love it. Her incredible way to do personification of the raindrop and later all the metaphors. She doesn’t let up.
The poem dances away.


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    Thank you Miriam and I am glad you enjoyed the poetry and discussion. I agree, it is hard to imagine she had 1800 poems which had been unread. In her lifetime she only published 10 poems and this was under a different name. I wonder how she would have coped in today’s society and culture? Have a good weekend and thanks again for taking time out to listen.

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A beautiful discussion of the poem Davy..and as always you give life to it by reading it beautifully as well..

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Perfect balance of art/info Davy, I know you sometimes leave punctuation deliberately out, and I on occasion over-punctuate or use ‘………..’ for pause, flow, emphasis for example, in my case it’s to better convey how I hear the poem in my mind. Fascinating lady, if sadly yet another of out artistic kin of tortured soul.

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    Thank you for your much appreciated feedback Nigel. It is always difficult to try and get the right balance with Poetic Beats. The punctuation debate is an interesting one as poetry is one of those genres where you can be playful and break the rules. I think this was the issue with Emily Dickinson at the time, as her writing broke all the rules and protocols and no one was brave enough to take a chance with her work. Her life is definitely worth looking into and, as you rightly say, a tortured soul. I wonder if she had any influence on E.E. Cummings? Thanks for taking time out to listen and comment and have a good weekend.

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What a delightful share, Davy. Her poem is a stunning example of the use of punctuation and the impact on each line and how it reflects her thoughts as she wrote this. You brought life to the piece by your superb reading.

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    Thank you for your kind words and thoughts Eugenia and I am glad you enjoyed the poem and the discussion and reading. She was a brilliant poet and one where it is not difficult to see why she is still studied today.

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hi Davy! have missed a lot of your posts and thoughts, a very hectic life and too much going on in my head but then this morning i open this and am blown away! she is my favourite female poet, she speaks her mind and is not afraid of not being mainstream and soft and yet she’s the most feminine poet i know. i really enjoyed your discussion on her punctuation, she and e.e cummings have this brilliant style framing sentences. i have said it before, she was a poet before her time or maybe she time traveled back in time to write those poems which are so relevant till today. thank you for highlighting Emily D, this has made my weekend brighter, i am looking for more of her poems today.

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    Thank you Gina and I am glad you took time out to listen and enjoy Poetic Beats. I wonder if e.e. cummings was influenced by the style of Emily Dickinson? What they demonstrate is that poetry is there to be played with and the rules are there to be broken. Thank you for your thoughts and have a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

      I suppose poets who read poetry are influenced and is reflected in their own writing, I know of authors that emulate their particular favourite writers too. rules are just a guide, i do believe we have had this discussion sometime before and yes I am all for bending and reinventing the new lines. Weekend has been very good so far, enjoying the company of some good people.

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This is so wonderful, Davy! One of my favorite poets! Thank you for sharing her, sharing one of her amazing poems, and teaching us more about her!

Summer Showers is filled with such vivid sights and feelings we can all relate to! The poem makes me smile, as does rain! 🙂

I want to believe, wherever she is, she is smiling to know how much her poetry has meant to many generations of people! 🙂
HUGS!!! 🙂
PS…July is coming quickly! I look forward to the first Poetic Beats in the new month! 🙂

Liked by 1 person

    Thank you Carolyn and I am so pleased you enjoyed the poetry and commentary. It is such a wonderful poem and Emily Dickinson paints such vivid images with her simple use of language.

    July will be a bit of a slack month for Poetic Beats as me and Mrs D are off on a sea adventure next week and will be away for nearly three weeks. But there will be two shows at the end of July.

    Thank you for all your support with this Carolyn, it is most appreciated. Have a great weekend 🙂

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