"Forever is composed of Nows" - Emily Dickinson
Why is it that the most profound human truths are so often conveyed by the most eye-roll inducing, clichéd phrases? All you need is love! Live in the moment! Stop to smell the roses! Dickinson’s poetry always manages to end-run these dull platitudes and tackle the biggest, weightiest ideas.
In her poem Forever - is composed of Nows, she blitzes two of her favorites, time and mortality. We humans seem to have a unique capacity to contemplate the infinite expanse of "time." We codify it, and arrange our experience of the world along an imagined timeline: first there was then, now I am here, and tomorrow I will be there.
But useful as this ability is to human civilization (would there even be civilization without it?), it obscures a simple truth. Time is merely a series of "nows." Outside the scope of memory, there is only here and now. Dickinson’s poem explores this truth, and re-contextualizes “forever” as a stream of present tense experience.
In our illustration, this present tense is represented as a map pin, a temporal “latitude of home.” The “nows” flow along a path that winds its way forever, taking the form of a snake biting its own tail.
We honored Dickinson's capitalization of the word "Now" in the quotation.
• 11x14 inch art print with white border
• Premium, fine art paper made in New York
• Elegant eggshell finish
• Ships in a a rigid, flat mailer. No need to unroll!
• Fits into standard 11x14 frames (or a 16x20 frame matted to 11x14)