Emily’s Day

IMG_0756It’s her day. Dec. 10, 1830, she came
Into the world and lived in its hands
The way she wanted to live and died
In its hands the way she wanted to die.

What she did not want is for us to see
Her witchery with words, but in the end,
The poetry breathed stronger than that wish
And we breathe stronger for her words.

In November, I got to visit the Emily Dickinson Museum and Homestead. I had a wonderful tour guide and met the museum director Jane Wald and spent an entire day in poetic euphoria. Please go visit this museum and/or support its work in any way that you can. It is truly a wonderful, personal, and lyric experience. Like ROMP, it is a museum, but not a cold, institutional-like environment in any way.

I also got lost a while in Amherst Books and visited the cemetery where she is buried and where a wonderful town memorial has her as a centerpiece.

[NOTE: I saw the word error in the sentence below but decided to keep it.]

Since following in love with E.D. when I was a teenager reading

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Are you – Nobody – too?

Then there’s a pair of us–Don’t tell!

They’d banish us – you know!

she has been in and out of my life. I did not understand her poetry for a long time, still don’t understand a lot of it, but that doesn’t bother me anymore. I have developed a taste for the image, for the economy of words, for the beauty of the stroke of syllable that teases and leaves unsaid what lives inside.

Happy Birthday, Emily. We continue to weave your web.

–Shaun Perkins

Some of my photos from the day are below:



Dickinson grave plot


Portion of the mural at the cemetery where E.D. is buried.


Front door at E.D. museum



Back of the E.D. house


There is a basement full of used books in this place!


Home of Austin Dickinson, Emily’s brother. It was also on the tour. It is full of the original furnishings and has not been restored–peeling wallpaper and all kinds of ambiance. Unique.


At a strip mall across the street from the museum



This shop is across the street from the E.D. house.


That corner room on the 2nd floor is where magic happened.


Lovely tree in the E.D. yard to the east.



Parking sign




A tour participant took this photo of me with E.D. house in background.

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