Daily Archives: October 5, 2019

He showed me Heights I never saw

After being shown the highest point revealing the secrets of the world, she still hesitates to agree to put her faith in “He”. Perhaps having to be shown something rather than discovering it herself is what she is taking issue with, or perhaps her imagination is so rich she doesn’t trust it to reveal the real truth? Either way, her “face withdrew” and could she “further “No”‘ (know).

The most interesting word in this poem, for me, is the word “No” because she seems to be equating “No” with ‘know’, as if she is saying “No” to a sort of knowledge and knowing. Everything that has been revealed to her in the poem has come from it being shown to her by someone else and she seems to be saying that this sort of knowing is something she must withdraw from and say “No” to. In a way she is flipping the roles of Adam and Even by suggesting (slightly) that if she had been Eve she would not have eaten the fruit, she would have said “No” to the fruit of the three of the knowledge (knowing) of good and evil.

I’ve read that perhaps she is referring to Christ in this poem, and perhaps she did have Christ in mind, but she has written so many poems about the world being revealed to her – often the Platonic world of the Forms – that I feel she is questioning where this light which shines on the worlds revealed to her comes from. In this poem she describes a “light for me” which glows “solemn” and which she withdraws from, as if she is now skeptical of what she has discovered in her imagination. Perhaps she is speaking about doubt which, as any artist can attest to, is a powerful force always at work in the artist’s mind as to their own ability. Or perhaps she is skeptical of the church revealing how the universe works because she has seen with her own imagination the true beauty of the world and thus she is skeptical of the “solemn” light of the church (think a dimly lit chapel and its votive).