Friday, February 12, 2010

Emily Dickenson (for Dickinson)

Emily Dickinson—spiritually akin to the late J.D. Salinger—was another literary "recluse" who wrote a great deal, but published very little during her lifetime. We tend to think of her as a bit of a virginal shrinking violet, but Dickinson was also an expert and extroverted gardener (fond of such sensual and heavily scented blooms as the heaven-sent heliotrope) and wholly capable of composing passionate love poems like this one:

Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile the winds
To a heart in port,
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!

There are 22 occurrences of today's typo in the OhioLINK database (though among those are several records with access points for both Emily Dickinson and Donna Dickenson). You can help make Emily's work more accessible to your patrons (even if the poet Herself might have preferred it less so) by finding and correcting this misspelling. Then find some some romantic poetry by the "Belle of Amherst" to share with your favorite recluse on Valentine's Day.

(Drawing of a young Emily Dickinson, date unknown, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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