Pain Poem

Pain–Has an Element of Blank–
It cannot recollect
When it begun–or if it were
A day when it was not–

It has no Future–but itself–
Its Infinite contain
Its Past–enlightened to perceive
New Periods–of Pain.

–Emily Dickinson

I like Dickinson’s metaphor for pain as an “element of blank.”  Pain isn’t anything we can quantify or point to and see “here is pain.” Pain is unlike any other state of being.  It is not of or for anything.  It just is.  I like Dickinson’s  description of the blankness that is pain. We want to wake from pain, to leave it behind us, but we can’t. Pain becomes a part of us.  Pain changes us. Pain has no future but itself, like Dickinson writes.

5 thoughts on “Pain Poem

  1. “Its Infinite contain” I love this expression, I take this to mean all encompassing which pain of fibro certainly is. i don’t ususally get much from her poems but i do like this one. Thanks

    • painfighter says:

      I like Emily Dickinson for the most part. Her longer poems lose me but she was able to capture a lot about a feeling in a short number of words, like she has done with this poem about pain. I really liked it too and was glad I stumbled upon it.

  2. […] Pain Poem ( […]

  3. Serenstar says:

    Emily’s poems have a tendency to capture my attention well, be they short or long. In this one, I also like that even though pain has an element of “blank” in our case a lot of time the blankness we have IS pain. There are many forms of pain in this illness.

    Sometimes even more debilitating than the physical pain is the mental pain. Memory is a blank. A thought is lost. You feel like your mind could go away at any minute and it hurts. I’ve probably cried more for loss of mental acuity and foggy moments than I’ve cried for the physical pain and exhaustion. I can see so many meanings in this poem.

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