Instead of looking at mushrooms with a sense of disgust try looking at this natural phenomenon differently. Do what Emily Dickinson did: see it as something more. As part of our Emily Dickinson Month (December), here is poem 1,350: “The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants.”
Beautiful and poisonous
We all heard these stories about people that ate the wrong mushrooms. They confused the pedestal that isn’t suitable for eating with those that can be eaten.
In a way, this poem isn’t that different from the poem we published yesterday: it isn’t always what we see, on the outside. This goes the same for mushrooms. Unless you are an expert, you might have problems deciding if the mushroom is poisonous or not.
Yes, we see something, a creature of Mother Nature, which is undervalued. At least according to Dickinson. It was her love for nature that inspired her to write this poem. The first publication of this poem dates back to 1896.
The mushroom is a plant that can emerge out of nowhere. That is something magical, right? When you do not look closely, the plant seems to disappear instantly.
Ok, here is the analysis of this poem based on what you read. Dickinson always added a “hidden” element to her poem. This poem is about someone who has abandoned beliefs. The poem tells us the story of someone who abandoned faith.
The poem about the apostate holds one deeper meaning: Dickinson actually admiring this apostate. In a way, poem 1,350 is actually quite rebellious!
The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants
The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants –
At Evening, it is not
At Morning, in a Truffled Hut
It stop opon a Spot
As if it tarried always
And yet it’s whole Career
Is shorter than a Snake’s Delay –
And fleeter than a Tare –
’Tis Vegetation’s Juggler –
The Germ of Alibi –
Doth like a Bubble antedate
And like a Bubble, hie –
I feel as if the Grass was pleased
To have it intermit –
This surreptitious Scion
Of Summer’s circumspect.
Had Nature any supple Face
Or could she one contemn –
Had Nature an Apostate –
That Mushroom – it is Him!