Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Emily Dickinson, a poetess in her own right...

Some years ago,  my husband and I went to Amherst Massachusetts to visit her home. In fact we stayed at a bed and breakfast place, directly across the street from her house.

It was my dream to see where she lived. She was a poet in her own right, but more importantly I wanted to know Emily Dickinson the person...  I did write a poem titled "I'm Not a Poet like Emily Dickinson."which was published and accepted by the Emily Dickinson Society.

When I walked into her house, (which was remodeled and updated, because the original interior had deteriorated), I immediately felt her presence. There was a black and white photo on the wall, which revealed a somber face.  She wasn't a beauty, (even though she had red hair and blue eyes, which we learned from the tour guide), but there was something about her eyes, that drew me towards her. There was a mystery about her, and I wanted to know all about her roots. This place she called home.

After touring the downstairs, (which was mainly a museum), the tour guide took our group upstairs.  When I reached the top of the stairs, there standing in the middle of the hallway, staring at me, was a glass encased cabinet with a white dress inside.  I can just picture Emily,  who was only 5'1" like me, walking through the house in that beautiful white dress.  It was almost spiritual.

As we slowly approached Emily's bedroom, my heart raced with excitement.  This is where she spent all of her time, and wrote most of her poems.

Of course we weren't allowed inside, but looking at the actual room, and the original bed where she slept, and the desk where she wrote her poetry, it felt like time stood still, and I was drawn back to her era.

She was sitting at her desk and writing non-stop.   She turned to me with her somber face, and deep  blue eyes and said, softly, "I write for myself, and what I feel about life's expectations, and then wonder, what are the solutions if any."  Okay this isn't what she actually said, but maybe this is what she wanted to say. One never knows..

Her desk was original, but the chair wasn't. Emily's actual chair was at the Amherst college museum.  Then as I watched the guide walk over to Emily's dresser, she opened one of the drawers and pulled out a stack of papers, which were bundle together and tied with Emily's signature ribbon. These were her poems, written in her own handwriting.  It was the most surreal moment in my life. I was staring at a piece of history.

Emily's poems were sacred, but as we know, they were eventually published, against her wishes.
Her request, that when she died,  her poems be destroyed, but her sister-in-law, after reading them, thought they should be shared with the world. In one way, it's sad that Emily's wishes were not honored, but on the other hand, the world would've been denied the opportunity of knowing Emily, a great poet of her time, and ours.

Therefore, Emily, will always be FOREVER YOUNG.