blog-maryBlog - Joyful Curmudgeon - Blog
A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Emily Dickinson – 30 March 2009
By Mary T. Hoffman

This poem by Emily Dickinson seems to express the belief that no matter what a person suffers physically; his or her soul remains free – if that is indeed what they desire. I think that the last two lines, “Captivity is consciousness, / So’s liberty,” summarize the idea that it is a matter of choice.

No Rack Can Torture Me
Emily Dickinson

No rack can torture me,
My soul’s at liberty,
Behind this mortal bone
There knits a bolder one

You cannot prick with saw
Nor rend with scimitar,
Two bodies therefore be;
Bind one, and one will flee.

The eagle of his nest
No easier divest
And gain the sky,
Than mayest thou,

Except thyself may be
Thine enemy;
Captivity is consciousness,
So’s liberty.

For a short bio of Emily Dickinson and more of her poems, visit: 

For a large collection of poetry and stories, visit:

Go on to: Celebrate Life! - 31 March 2009
Return to: Michael A. Klaper, M.D. - 29 March 2009
Return to: Blog - Main Page
Return to: Archive - By Date
Return to: Archive - By Subject

See Readers Comments