A little Road – not made of Man

Troika In The Steppe, 1882, Ivan Aivazovsky
Background Image: Troika In The Steppe, 1882, Ivan Aivazovsky

I love her use of the word “Thill” because it’s so close to ‘thrill’ as in the ‘thrill “of Bee”‘. She creates a sense of excitement and fantasy in this first stanza which she then contrasts to her disappointment (perhaps?) that “no Curricle” bears her in that “Town” (or if that “Town” even exists).

I suppose a question I could ask is if she is skeptical if there is a “Town” ahead (heaven, home), what does she think the “Bee” and the “Butterfly” are doing as they pull their “Curricle”? It would be a strange image to have these creatures trained and attached to their vehicles if there were no destination for them to get on to. When we see a “Road” we assume it leads somewhere and that the travelers we meet on the road are making their way to some destination of which the road allows them to get to. But what if the “little Road” was the destination, what if the journey was the thing we should be more concerned with, not the possible destination?

Emily is not concerned, in this poem, with destinations, she only considers the “Road” and the fantastical creatures she sees there. And even when she does consider a destination she describes that place as somewhere where a “Curricle” would “rumble there”, as if the destination were yet another road filled with magical beasts pulling carts filled with travelers on an endless road, as if heaven itself were not a place but an endless journey. This “Town” (heaven) is a place of movement and magic, not of static foundations and immovable columns, it rather has an energy and a freedom, a ‘thrill’ “of Bee” (perhaps a thrill of being) where existence isn’t one fixed place but everyplace all at once.