I've come across some long-lost things while unpacking boxes at my newest address. This book is one of them. Having loved some of Emily Dickinson's poems that I had to memorize as a child, I bought this book shortly after it was published. The dust jacket was marking one of my favorites:
I'm Nobody! Who are you?Oh, dear! My memory must be going. I've been mis-quoting it for years, saying "the livelong day" — but where did "June" come from? I'd forgottten, if I'd ever noticed, how much Emily Dickinson used the — um — dash. When I looked up my NEW favorite from this book, someone had replaced all the dashes with appropriate punctuation, according to English teachers. Here's what's in this book:
Are you — Nobody — Too?
Then there's a pair of us?
Don't tell! they'd advertise — you know!
How dreary — to be — Somebody!
How public — like a Frog —
To tell one's name — the livelong June —
To an admiring Bog!
I've seen a Dying EyeI've thought of things like the last words a dying person speaks or, maybe, the last thing a person ever saw. But Emily Dickinson wondered what it was that "dying eye" was looking for. I wonder what I would want to see before I died. Probably the faces of those I love.
Run round and round a Room —
Then Cloudier become —
And then — obscure with Fog —
And then — be soldered down
Without disclosing what it be
'Twere blessed to have seen —
Emily Dickinson lived December 10, 1830 to May 15, 1886. This photo was taken around 1850. How do I rate her work at this stage of my life? Very good, or 8/10.