Thursday, December 10, 2009
It's Emily Dickinson's birthday. I always picture a pale woman in sateen dress and a tight bun in an upstairs room comparing hope to a thing with feathers. Am I the only one who sees a facial resemblance to David Byrne? Maybe. She spent most of her later years inside her house in Amherst, but she wrote letters and had friendships. When she was 25 her bread won second prize at the county fair, so she did occasionally venture outdoors. Her personality, though, is preserved in the tightly wrought poems; they are her legacy. An agile mind darting around inside a narrow house. Emily Dickinson appears three times in A Book of Ages.