It's not her birth or death anniversary. I came upon a picture book on her, and couldn't bring myself to write about anything else. Hence this post. Hope you enjoy it.
She wrote poems.
Bent over her tiny desk,
reading with hunger.
She wore white.
Other colours existed
in her flowers,
even dead bees.
She never married.
Her love passed
to fainting robins,
young, drinking hearts.
(Though it was rumoured, she had a lover once.)
She was a recluse.
called ‘Peculiar old maid,’
marked ‘The Myth,’
then ‘One of America’s Greatest Poets.’
(I suspect she might not have minded those names, not even the first one.)
Emily Dickinson was intriguing to many.
She didn’t step out of her house for the last few years of her life.
She lowered baskets of candy to children in her neighbourhood.
She scribbled little poetic notes to her family all the time.
She loved her ‘Gib,’ the youngest of her nephews, like crazy.
A maiden, for sure, her heart never shriveled. She was Winter and Spring. She was fresh flowers and dead bees. She was a woman and a girl. She was a lover and always beloved.
Despite staying indoors for the last few years of her life, Emily did enjoy a good social life through family dinners and letter correspondence with many friends. She didn’t travel out to experience Life. She retreated instead.
Would you be able to live as Emily did?
I have two picture books (both part fiction, part fact) to share on our beloved Emily:
Emily Michael Bedard & Barbara Cooney
A little girl’s mother has been invited to play the piano for ‘The Myth,’ a lady who lives across them and is, as others say, crazy. The little girl and the great poet get to meet and exchange gifts of lasting friendship.
My Uncle Emily Jane Yolen & Nancy Carpenter
This book is on Emily’s sweet relationship with her youngest nephew, Gib. When the child gets into a fight in school over his Uncle Emily, she teaches him to seek to ‘tell the truth, but tell it slant.’
The former is one of the best picture books I’d read last year. If there are rare things in this world that could burn through its quiet brilliance, for me one of them must be the writing and the pictures here. My favourite part of the Jane Yolen book, on the other hand, is when Emily says that ... poets ‘light lamps.’
The good, crazy ones really do.
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.