Tuesday, August 06, 2013

ABC Wednesday

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
The letter this week is D

D is for Emily Elizabeth DICKINSON who lived a mostly reclusive life, was thought of as an eccentric by most of her neighbours,  and had fewer than a dozen of her eighteen hundred poems published during her lifetime.  And yet, and yet – she is thought now to be one of the most important American poets.

Emily Dickinson

Born on December 10th, 1830 to a successful family with strong community ties, after her schooling years she returned home to her family in Amherst, Massachusetts,
and lived there until she died in 1886.
 
Most of her friendships were carried on by correspondence, as she was reluctant to greet guests,
or even in her later years to leave her room.
 
It is said that she would not even allow her doctor to visit her, and that he had to make any observations as she passed by an open door, where he was seated,  - a situation which caused  the good doctor to comment that it was would be difficult for him
to diagnose any disease other than mumps.
 
Lavinia, Emily’s youngest sister, discovered her cache of poems after her death in 1886, and the quality of Emily’s work became apparent to the literary world.  Her poems were unique to the time in which they were written, containing short lines, lacking titles and making use of slant rhyme, which is a half rhyme, or an imperfect rhyme.  Although not popular at that time slant rhyme in modern times has become acceptable as it is used extensively by rappers and poetry performers.
 
Many of Emily Dickinson's poems deal with themes of death and immortality and can be read symbolically, as can this lovely one that follows with sunrise depicting birth, and sunset, death, and in between the wonderful business of life.
 
A Day
I’ll tell you how the sun rose,
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.
The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”
………………
But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while.
Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.
Emily Dickinson
 
For more interesting interpretations of the letter D click here to visit ABC Wednesday, with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt who created this meme and to Roger and his many helpers who maintain it.

12 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Emily features quite heavily in our monthly Poetry meeting Hildred, along with Robert Frost (my personal favourite).

Roger Owen Green said...

I think it's fascinating how much more famous she became after she DIED!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

photowannabe said...

Love the middle times as being the Business of Life.

Such a strange solitary life though.

Leslie: said...

There is so much imagery in that simple little poem! Lovely.

Leslie
abcw team

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful. I knew some, but not all of that, about Miss Emily. Strange (almost surreal) to think of rappers using the same rhyme scheme.

Kara said...

I love Emily Dickenson and have for as long as I can remember. I have visited her house in Western MA

magiceye said...

Beautiful take on the theme

Hazel Ceej said...

I love Dickenson poetry! "The hills untied their bonnets" - amazing, fun line.

Hazel

Gerald (SK14) said...

the news like squirrels ran - splendid line

Reader Wil said...

So many really great creative people are not honoured during their lives, after death they become famous. It's tragic, isn't it?
Have a great week, Hildred.
Wil, ABCW Team

Joy said...

She has wonderful imagery and her poems are such that her lines stay with you.

Nora at Island Rambles said...

Oh this is such an interesting posting...I love the poem and all the history about Emily, it is endearing to read about her unusual life, I can relate. thanks so much for your comments. cheers.