I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.
Emily Dickinson

Vesuvius at Home: The Power of Emily Dickinson

Vesuvius at Home: The Power of Emily Dickinson

Jul 17, 2019-- "For years I have been not so much envisioning Emily Dickinson as trying to visit, to enter her mind, through her poems and letters, and through my own intimations of what it could have meant to be one of the two mid-19th-century American geniuses, and a woman, living in Amherst, Massachusetts. Of the other genius, Walt Whitman, Dickinson wrote that she had heard his poems were "disgraceful." She knew her own were unacceptable by her world's standards of poetic convention, and of what was appropriate, in particular, for a woman poet. Seven were published in her lifetime, all edited by other hands; more than a thousand were laid away in her bedroom chest, to be discovered after her death.[...]I have a notion that genius knows itself; that Dickinson chose her seclusion, knowing she was exceptional and knowing what she needed. It was, moreover, no hermetic retreat, but a seclusion which included a wide range of people, of reading and correspondence." This essay by Adrienne Rich offers profound perspectives on the enigmatic writer hailed as 'the mother of American poetry.' (2920 reads)


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Take ActionHow have words moved you in your own life? Is there a particular word that "shines" for you? For more inspiration, check out Emily Dickinson's Herbarium -- less well-known than her poetry, but remarkable in its own way. [more]



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