The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –

from Emily Dickinson – After great pain a formal feeling comes (J341, F372) on Rap Genius


The image conjured in this line is of stillness and uncomfortable stiffness. Indeed, for nerves to “sit ceremonious” and upright like tombs is quite jarring, almost akin to our hair standing on end in panic or overwhelming fright. The word “ceremonious” also perhaps references the ceremonies that come with tragedy, such as funerals.

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