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 ethical 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.)