Aeons ago, when I was in my last school year, studying for my Leaving Certificate (final school exam in the Irish educational system), I first came across Emily Dickinson’s poems, as a couple of them were on the English syllabus. Back then I would have struggled to explain the potent tug of her words and why they left a mark on my soul; in fact I doubt if I could explain it fully today.
When I saw the ravishingly pretty cape pictured above (a piece by Eilis Boyle for sale at Bow Dublin) a line from one of Emily Dickinson’s poems, that I would have expected to have long since forgotten, sprang instantaneously to mind. This Proustian moment set me thinking about the powerful memories and emotions clothes can evoke. Fashion has indeed many facets.
Here’s the poem with the relevent line underlined.
Because I could not stop for death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The carriage held but just Ourselves –
We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –
We passed the School, where Children storve
At recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –
Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown-
My Tippet – only Tulle –
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –
Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were towards Eternity –
3 responses to “♥ Fashion and Poetry”
I have to say…I have always considered that fashion (apparel) is akin to art and I really like your choice here it fits so well…like the tippet.if one had reason to wear such an ethereal garment !! I did my thesis on “When does fashion become art…..Mariano Fortuny” so I had to comment as this is all so close to my heart!!
Hi Julie and thanks so much for your comment. I too love the cape but sadly don’t have the lifestyle for it! Thesis sounds fascinating… Bx
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