Emily Dickinson “Poppa above!” 61/1775

Saturday, September 24, 2011Emily Dickinson “Papa above!” aferwOrds by ChiccoReal
Papa above!
Regard a Mouse
O’erpowered by the Cat!
Reserve within thy kingdom
A “Mansion” for the Rat!

Snug in seraphic Cupboards
To nibble all the day
While unsuspecting Cycles
Wheel solemnly away!

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Papa_above!

Immediately “Papa above!” Pappa is dead. The mother is dead too (from the last poem “Like her Saints retire”.

The allegory to a nursery rhyme is definitely in order here. I believe “Pussy Cat Pussy Cat where have you been” If you remember your Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes; it goes like this;

“Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?…”
by Mother Goose
Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?
“I’ve been to London to look at the queen.”
Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, what did you there?
“I frightened a little mouse under the chair.”

http://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/literature/mothergoose/rhymes/pussycatpussycatwherehaveyoubeen.html

Coincidence the above link is from Amherst College?…Oh,I think not!

The next stanza is in reference to Old Mother Hubbard (oh this is fun!)

Snug in seraphic Cupboards
To nibble all the day
While unsuspecting Cycles
Wheel solemnly away!

Here’s the famous poem (it is a lot longer than I remember!).

“Old Mother Hubbard…”
by Mother Goose
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone;
But when she came there
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

She went to the baker’s
To buy him some bread;
But when she came back
The poor dog was dead.

She went to the joiner’s
To buy him a coffin;
But when she came back
The poor dog was laughing.

She took a clean dish,
To get him some tripe;
But when she came back
He was smoking his pipe.

She went to the hatter’s
To buy him a hat;
But when she came back
He was feeding the cat.

She went to the barber’s
To buy him a wig;
But when she came back
He was dancing a jig.

She went to the fruiterer’s
To buy him some fruit;
But when she came back
He was playing the flute.

She went to the tailor’s
To buy him a coat;
But when she came back
He was riding a goat.

She went to the cobbler’s
To buy him some shoes;
But when she came back
He was reading the news.

She went to the seamstress
To buy him some linen;
But when she came back
The dog was spinning.

She went to the hosier’s
To buy him some hose;
But when she came back
He was dressed in his clothes.

The dame made a curtsey,
The dog made a bow;
The dame said, “Your servant,”
The dog said, “Bow-wow.”

The last lines of “Papa above!”

While unsuspecting Cycles
Wheel solemnly away!

I believe Emily is “linking” to some sort of Greek goddess as per the recent Magpie poster of Willow’s at Magpie Tales (Jul 11 I believe!).

In all honesty I am not exactly sure of what Emily is trying to say in this poem, in fact, I may never be entirely sure of what Miss Emily connotes in her poems. I have been told just to “appreciate” them for what they are, as they stand as the immediate sensations take over. This I can do. I can also analyze to find deeper meaning which it seems it is my fate so to do. If anyone can provide any iota of meaning or semblance of a thread; please feel free to comment.

  1. I kind of like this one! It’s fun! And reminiscent of silly childhood nursery rhymes. I think Miss Emily is making fun of death here in a light-hearted way.
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2 comments on “Emily Dickinson “Poppa above!” 61/1775

  1. chiccoreal says:

    crap what happen to the AfterwOrds by ChiccOreal…i got to have my fix of ChiccOreal or I’m not quite right for the day!

    afterwOrds with ChiccOreal

    Today Pappa Flew
    In His Cooped up Coupe
    He took the Caddy
    to the stars
    Twinkle Twinkle
    Big Daddy Starbuckws

    jj

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