Saturday, 7 November 2015

Emily Dickinson

A WORD is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

Our guide recited this poem as we started the 45-minute tour of the Emily Dickinson house in Amherst Massachusetts last weekend.

American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is known for her use of slant-rhyme, unconventional punctuation and reclusive habits.

Example of slant:

“The Mind is Smooth – no Motion –
Contented as the Eye (slanted)

Upon the Forehead of a Bust –
That knows – it cannot see”(slanted)

Her poems did not have titles. They were not dated. 

Fewer than a dozen of her poems were published during her lifetime. After her sister Lavinia discovered the collection of nearly 1800 poems, Dickinson's first volume was published four years after her death.

We learned that Emily dressed in all white, even to garden. A replica of one of her dresses is on display and was fancy enough to get married in!

She baked and filled a basket of treats and dropped it out her bedroom window to share with kids playing outside.

Although she was a homebody, there were acres and acres of land around her family property so she did enjoy nature.

We were told that Emily was buried behind the Mobil station nearby and sure enough that is where we found the cemetery.


  1. Maybe if I write beautiful poems and live a kind life I will be lucky enough to be buried behind the Mobil station when I die and get a troll doll placed on my gravestone.