Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics:  Bold Tributes  (posted by Amaya)
Welcome to Tuesday Poetics with your host, Amaya. In the prophetic spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., tonight we are going to be bold in our truth-telling by illuminating powerful quotes that inspire social justice, global peace, or human rights. Use one of the following quotes, or feel free to find another, and break it up and embed it into your poem of the same or similar theme.

Power of Love

“Assent, and you are sane;
Demur, — you’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.”                           

⁃ Emily Dickinson (from, ‘Much Madness Is Divinest Sense’)

Not always wise to give assent
to causes that seem popular, and
not if you feel a sense of pressure on you
to go with the flow. You are
judging issues with your own sane
ness.  Analyze your beliefs. Demur
if opposed. Inside, know you are
a free-thinking person, not to be judged straightway,
as someone who is dangerous.
This is how bias begins, and
if freedom of speech is not handled
correctly, then anyone with
a different view will be considered a
pariah, and be bound by an invisible chain.
Use your brain; use your voice.


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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16 Responses to Apart

  1. Janice says:

    I like how you have expanded Dickinson’s observation…and connected speech to thinking as well as assertiveness.


  2. Love the expansion and especially the last line…


  3. Yes! Freedom of speech is pointless if we are afraid to speak. Nice interpretation!


  4. Yes, the pressure to conform or to give assent should be a very palpable way of telling the individual that something is way off. Great quote by Dickinson and you incorporated it well.


  5. Frank Hubeny says:

    Good points about conformity.


  6. rothpoetry says:

    Well written word of wisdom… the bandwagon just might be headed for the cliff!


  7. Sarah, great quote. I can’t say I was ever aware of that side of Emily who I would have described as more demur…but come to think of it, she didn’t mince words. I like what you did with it.


  8. Grace says:

    Use our brain and voice wisely~ It takes courage to make that voice loud and clear ~ Enjoyed your response Sara!


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