Sunday, October 16, 2011


POEM #18- Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Fun with linguistics (I can't resist!) "Yclept" (pronounced ih-clehpt) see the last stanza is an OBSOLETE English word. It is the past participle of the verb "clepe" (pronounced kleep) which meant "to call." Example: She was yclept "the face that launched a thousand ships." Just think, on a birth announcement you could say, "Our fair child has been yclept Leonore." (And to those who think I'm a total nerd, I DID have to look this one up.)

A fuzzy fellow, without feet,
Yet doth exceeding run!
Of velvet, is his Countenance,
And his Complexion, dun!

Sometime, he dwelleth in the grass!
Sometime, upon a bough,
From which he doth descend in plush
Upon the Passer-by!

All this in summer.
But when winds alarm the Forest Folk,
He taketh Damask Residence—
And struts in sewing silk!

Then, finer than a Lady,
Emerges in the spring!
A Feather on each shoulder!
You'd scarce recognize him!

By Men, yclept Caterpillar!
By me! But who am I,
To tell the pretty secret
Of the Butterfly!

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