Tell all the truth but…

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant
Emily Dickinson

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant–
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind–

The poets know more than the rest of us.
Not more facts, just more truth.
Not many understand this but it’s true.
It’s why the prophets were poets.
In poetry the truth can be told slant.
Not untrue, not as a lie, but mercifully slant.
A safe refraction of truth’s blazing light.
Poet Blindman knows better than I the wisdom of working the angles.
The secret pragmatism of the poet.
And don’t forget parable is a form poetry.
Messiah told the truth, but told it slant in parable.
It’s like seed, it’s like weeds, it’s like baking bread, it’s like throwing a party.
Let people scratch their heads for awhile.
The truth will dawn in its own good time.
Jesus told the truth but told it slant.
It was the only hope truth had to find purchase on the earth.
Because you can be right…and you can be left.
Tell all the truth but tell it slant.
I’m just learning this.
But it’s going to be my new style.
If you ask me why I’ll tell, but I’ll tell it slant.


(Thank you, Joe…and Emily.)