Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
It’s time to class the joint up a touch with a little poetry. This Emily Dickinson wasn’t published until fifty years after her death but it is still a pearler.
Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth’s superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind —
The untitled poem has all the hallmarks of all great Dickinson works: Capital letters! Long dashes! A desire to circle the truth rather than tackle it head on!
The idea of not looking directly at the truth, lest it blind you, is a theme that I tried to capture in my first novel, Chasing The Ace. In fact, the poem opens the second half of the book.
Nicholas J. Johnson is a Melbourne magician, author and collector of scams