I know parallel semantic and syntactic structure is a key feature in Emily Dickinson’s poetry. But reading the poem below, I was just thinking that ‘need not’1 might make more sense than ‘cannot’ in the first stanza. What do you think?
|The Gradation of Fire (1939), Rene Magritte|
You cannot put a fire out;
A thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a fan
Upon the slowest night.
You cannot fold a flood
And put it in a drawer,–
Because the winds would find it out,
And tell your cedar floor.
1I thought of needn’t first but contractions are seldom used by Dickinson apart from ‘t.