Poetry Friday: The Brightside And The Brontes

Oct 2, 2020

For this week’s installment of Poetry Friday, we head to the bookstore...the Brightside Bookstore in Flagstaff, to be exact. Tyler Clark is a graduate student at Northern Arizona University and an employee at the Brightside. He leads us back to the poetry section where he reaches for the writings of the Bronte sisters. Here is Tyler Clark with Charlotte Bronte’s On the Death of Emily Jane Bronte, a tribute to her sister. 

Tyler Clark, a graduate student at Northern Arizona University and employee at the Brightside Bookstore
Credit Gillian Ferris

Tyler Clark: So, we have the cards, the postcards and the journals to the left, and to the right we have some of our best sellers, which come from the Indie Bestseller List. They’re the books that are most popular in independent bookstores around the nation.

Next, we’ll go to the poetry section. On one side of our wall we have all of our fiction and our Classics, and then ending with poetry. We like to kind of handcraft it. All the books picked here are picked with love. We have a few poet fans, including myself, who work at the bookstore. And we have a mix of authors that are new, more modern, we have Classic authors as well. It’s just a huge compilation of different works, and I love this section very much.

Charlotte Bronte, 1816-1855
Credit Google Images

So, I like the Classics a lot, and I like a lot of long-dead authors. My favorite authors of all-time are the Bronte sisters. They’re really popular for their novels and their fiction, but they also have some really good poems. Charlotte Bronte is my favorite. I think Emily Bronte tends to be the most famous of the poets, but Charlotte has some really good works as well.

I’ll read today the poem On the Death of Emily Jane Bronte. It was written by Charlotte Bronte right when her sister passed away on December 24th, 1848. So, I’ll just get started.

On the Death of Emily Jane Brontë

My darling, thou wilt never know

The grinding agony of woe

That we have borne for thee.

Thus may we consolation tear

E’en from the depth of our despair

And wasting misery.

The nightly anguish thou art spared

When all the crushing truth is bared

To the awakening mind,

When the galled heart is pierced with grief,

Till wildly it implores relief,

But small relief can find.

Nor know’st thou what it is to lie

Looking forth with streaming eye

On life’s lone wilderness.

‘Weary, weary, dark and drear,

How shall I the journey bear,

The burden and distress?’

Then since thou art spared such pain

We will not wish thee here again;

He that lives must mourn.

God help us through our misery

And give us rest and joy with thee

When we reach our bourne!

Poetry Friday is produced by KNAU's Gillian Ferris. If you have an idea for a segment, drop her an email at Gillian.Ferris@nau.edu.