Posts Tagged ‘emily dickinson’

Emily Dickinson

February 10, 2011 Leave a comment

I was going to title this post ‘Poetry’ as Emily Dickinson is about the only poet I’ve enjoyed and made a bit of an effort to find out more about. Like jazz and the films of Eisenstein I thought my life might be enriched by poetry, so I signed up to have a poem a day emailed to me. In the first six months I dilligently read one a day and developed a dislike for Frost and Poe and Yeats and Keats and Whitman, but I liked Dickinson. When I no longer even glanced at the work of the others, I’d still read her’s.

Photograph of Emily Dickinson.I liked how she had the good grace to keep her poems short. They are always meticulously crafted but have a defiantly crooked rhyming method that often seems ideal for her abrupt and morbid subject matter. She strikes me as being a bit of a curiosity as a person, writing thousands of agonising poems and not telling anyone. I seem to remember hearing that she was very keen on botany, but I don’t suppose that’s unusual for the well-to-do ladies of US provincial life in the nineteenth century – sitting in a stifling room lamenting unrequited love and contemplating death. I’d love to see how Edward Gorey would illustrate her poems.

‘Hope is a thing with feathers’ comes up time and again as the most popular of her poems. I think that this is a fairly twee effort and certainly not one of her most interesting. I prefer ‘I measure every grief I meet’, or ‘Death sets a thing significant’.

Anyway, it’s not difficult to find all her stuff online if you care to look.

I didn’t call this post ‘Poetry’ because there’s not just Emily Dickinson; there’s always “The force that through the green fuse drives the flowers, drives my green age. ” or ‘Autmn’ or, would ‘The Divine Comedy’ count? I’m a Scotsman and therefore duty bound to cherish the works of Burns in my breast. OK, maybe something else on poetry to come…

Categories: books