My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close My life closed twice before its close– It yet remains to see If Immortality unveil A third event to me So huge, so hopeless to conceive As these that twice befell. Parting is all we know of heaven, And all we need of hell. A paradox is a statement which contains apparently opposing or incongrous elements which, when read together, turn out to make sense. The first line is paradoxical in that there are separate meanings for the words “closed” and “close” — Dickinson tells of having suffered 2 great losses, so monumental as to be comparable to death. She wonders if another such devastating event awaits her in the future. Emily Dickinson #389 Theres been a Death, in the Opposite House, As lately as Today — I know it, by the numb look Such Houses havealway — The Neighbors rustle in and out — The Doctordrives away — A Window opens like a Pod — Abruptmechanically — Somebody flings a Mattress out — The Children hurry by — They wonder if it diedon that — I used towhen a Boy — The Ministergoes stiffly in — As if the House were His — And he owned all the Mournersnow — And little Boysbesides — And then the Millinerand the Man Of the Appalling Trade — To take the measure of the House Therell be that Dark Parade — Of Tasselsand of Coachessoon — Its easy as a Sign — The Intuition of the News — In just a Country Town — Wallace Stevens The Emperor of Ice-cream Call the roller of big cigars, The muscular one, and bid him whip In kitchen cups concupiscent curds. Let the wenches dawdle in such dress As they are used to wear, and let the boys …
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