I never saw a Moor.
I never saw the Sea –
Yet know I how the Heather looks
And what a Billow be –
I never spoke with God
Nor visited in Heaven –
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the Checks were given –
In The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition, edited by R. W. Franklin, 1999.
So interesting. I wonder, is the poet speaking of a pre-conceptual knowing, a cognizance that exists deep within our very bones? . . . We know these “things”, these experiences of perception, because they have been attended to for millions of years by our ancestors: archetypes of the natural world, fractals comprising our physical reality (billowing clouds, grasses, waves of precipitation or insects or birds or fish or mosses; pink-purple florets, fields in florescence, sunlit water flecks, swards of stars, dewdrop or ice crystals at the first gleam of morning sun) . . . although God and Heaven would represent archetypal realities more social and moral/emotional in their nature, more distinctly, uniquely human. We know them when we experience them, and when we hear their names we know them again.
(An aside re punctuation: R. W. Franklin worked many years researching, discerning, and “deferring to her custom in presentation and usage” for this publication of Dickinson’s oeuvre . . . I hope that this is the reason for the period (full stop) at the end of the first line, i.e., I hope that this is not a typo! While it seems to me a very strange place for a period (and Dickinson used relatively few periods), I suppose we must trust the proofreaders on this. So, full stop it is—and, actually, as I’ve never seen a moor either, it gives me the opportunity to pause and realize this, and reflect on it a bit, recall stories I’ve read and pictures I’ve seen, to imagine what a moor might look like, and whether I’ve encountered something / some place comparable to a moor in my own singular experience of life.)