Sunday Scribblings #17: "Thief!"

1180 ("Remember me")

"Remember me" implored the Thief!
Oh Hospitality!
My Guest "Today in Paradise"
I give thee guaranty.

That Courtesy will fair remain
When the Delight is Dust
With which we cite this mightiest case
Of compensated Trust.

Of all we are allowed to hope
But Affidavit stands
That this was due where most we fear
Be unexpected Friends.

I have no idea why this piece comes to mind when I read the word "Thief!" today. It was part of a collection of works that she had penned long ago, and that collection itself had been broken down and placed in such disarray that even the scholars at Harvard have a hard time deciphering things.

What does this poem mean? What message was Emily Dickinson trying to convey to us. Perhaps no message at all, and just the ramblings of her mind as she wrote. Or, perhaps, there is something profound hidden just below the surface of the verses.

My view on it has always been a flashback to the Cross, where the Thief cried out to Christ, begging Him to "Remember me!" And so, the poem falls into place for me; the thief is granted his wish, because he believes, and is thus guaranteed a place in Paradise. Perhaps Emily goes on to say that the Promise offered will always remain, even after the world begins to crumble. Our 'trust' in the Lord is compensated by him. It is a Promise, a sworn pledge that is unbreakable, so long as we place that trust, and through this relationship we understand a different view of God.

And that is simply my own Sunday Scribble. A memory of a poem, triggered by a single word.

2 responded with...:

Annie Jeffries said...


WILD nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile the winds 5
To a heart in port,—
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea! 10
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!


Annie Jeffries said...

And now that I've read it, I find Emily's poem so beautiful and poignant and reassuring. The thief trusted.