emily * dickinson

Today is Miss Dickinson’s birthday!  Happiness.  Years ago, when Amherst College opened the Homestead & Evergreens to guests, I took a summer day to visit.


Although I grew up in Massachusetts, my childhood forays into the Berkshires were rare, so this was quite a treat!

Here is Jorie Graham’s essay on her visit to Amherst.


Thanks to Logan Esdale, who introduced me to poet & visual artist  Jen Bervin‘s “The Dickinson Fascicles,” based on Miss Dickinson’s “variant words:”

The variant words are preceeded by the + mark and often appear listed in clusters after the poem but before the horizontal line Dickinson drew to signal the end of a poem. To read the variants, you move backwards through the poem trying to find the point of insertion, the corollary word or phrase (preceeded by a +) that the variants refer to in the poem. They are sometimes quite close in meaning to the marked word, but in other instances, they are as far ranging as “+ world, + selves + sun.”


Prayer:  “Faith — is the pierless bridge / Supporting what We see / Unto the Scene that we do not — / Too slender for the eye.”  ~ Emily Dickinson


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