I encountered this poem while looking for something else entirely a few months ago and I’ve just been waiting for an excuse to use it. No such excuse has conveniently arisen. So, I am just going to share it here.
Part Four: Time and Eternity
One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Far safer, of a midnight meeting
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.
Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one’s own self encounter
In lonesome place.
Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror’s least.
The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O’erlooking a superior spectre
Emily Dickinson (1830–86). Complete Poems. 1924.
Just twenty lines to tell us more about our internal memories, shame, and self-awareness than many a long text.