It’s all I have to bring today

Landscape at Louveciennes, 1873, Alfred Sisley
Background Image: Landscape at Louveciennes, 1873, Alfred Sisley

The only cure for writer’s block is to keep writing.

The poem opens with Emily telling us that “It’s” is all she has to “bring today”. What this is is, most likely, this poem itself. She has nothing more to offer than “this” little poem, but it is more than enough.By starting out with only being able to offer a few lines of poetry ends with her creating a scene in which the “Bees” “dwell” in the “Clover”. From a distance – and when you sit on the wrong end of writer’s block – it can be difficult to see anything in the field of creativity, yet when you pick up the pen and write, you will discover that the field is full of “Clover” and that there are “Bees” hard at work in there. Just as the “Bees” are hard at work, so too is Emily writing her poetry.

This poem offers some insight into how she writes a poem. By starting small, she allows the poem to open up by including “my heart” in the second line. What starts as just a line of poetry – words on a page – now includes her emotions. In the third and fourth lines, she places her poem and her “heart” in “all the fields” and “all the meadows wide” and then ends the fourth line with a dash to allow the scene to remain open to all possibilities.

The fifth line sees a shift, and I like to read this as her reminding us, the reader of this poem, to keep “count” of each word and each line of the poem, to make sure we keep track of what’s going on less she get lost in the world she left open with the dash at the end of line four. She’s counting on us to see what she sees and it’s up to us to “tell” “some one” else about this little poem which includes her “heart” and “all the Bees” who work “in the Clover”.

In other words, she wants us to read her poem and she wants to share with us what she sees. And “It’s all” she has to bring today, not because she can only offer so little, but because she is offering us the whole world in a poem and she wants us there with her.