Posts Tagged ‘emily dickinson’

Hearken, all who read here

April 23, 2015

I’ve been working for the past few months on a website – a real website! With my name and everything! – hence no updates. (Other causes for delay include and are not limited to: moving house, editing a book, working hard, being tired.) Rest assured (how many of you dear readers are there? 4? 5?) that there will be a link to click on in the near future, and that it will furnish you with a new and shiny space for which I will be queuing (ah!) posts.

But in the meantime, a note of wisdom from a favourite:

From The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope Poems, ed. Jen Bervin and Marta Werner/via POETRY since 1912.


October 4, 2009

Lately at night I’ve been retreating to bed with Emily Dickinson (a lovely fat Faber collected poems, kindly given me by my brother, for my birthday–he even wrote cutely in the front of it!). Sitting there, by my lamp, reading aloud, is my antidote to these days–these last days of the thesis. During the day, it isn’t Dickinson, but Millay who is taken up for pleasure when the writing and editing gets too much.

Once more into my arid days like dew,
Like wind from an oasis, or the sound
Of cold sweet water bubbling underground,
A treacherous messenger, the thought of you
Comes to destroy me; once more I renew
Firm faith in your abundance, whom I found
Long since to be but just one other mound
Of sand, whereon no green thing ever grew.
And once again, and wiser in no wise,
I chase your coloured phantom on the air,
And sob and curse and fall and weep and rise
And stumble pitifully on to where,
Miserable and lost with stinging eyes,
Once more I clasp, –and there is nothing there.

I’ve taken up residence in my mum’s study, with the built-in-bookcases that make me feel studious, and the deep wooden desk with brass handles, and the ashes of my grandmother. To my right, the leaves of the magnolia; to my left, a cabinet of china cats. This used to be my bedroom. I wonder, looking at the key in the french doors that has not been turned since I slept beneath, whether that is why I come here now: lonely with writing.

The sky is darkening. The floorboards are popping, as they used to. The parents have returned from a weekend away, with a pink cupcake for me, no less. Hehe.

Our’s be the tossing…

June 23, 2009

How sick—to wait—

[I]n any place—but thine—

I knew last night—when

[S]omeone tried to twine—


I looked tired—or alone—

Or breaking—almost—with

[U]nspoken pain—

And I turned—ducal—

That right—was thine—

One port—suffices—

[F]or a Brig—like mine

Our’s be the tossing—

[W]ild through the sea—

Rather than a mooring—

[U]nshared by thee.

Our’s be the Cargo—


Rather than the “spicy isles—”

And thou—not there—

(God, that’s beautiful.)

It is the autograph manuscript version of Emily Dickinson’s “How sick—to wait—in any place—but thine—” (Fr.410), which “shows traces of an earlier and more conventional structure of rhyme, enabling us to attempt an archeological reconstruction of what the poem may have looked like during the first stages of its construction.”

Domhnall Mitchell, Measures of Possibility: Emily Dickinson’s Manuscripts, Amherst and Boston: U of Massachusetts P, 2005: 257.

Mmm… nice chunky stinky books

June 19, 2009

For my conference paper: ‘Emily Dickinson and the Anxiety of Pentameter’.

Domhnall Mitchell, Measures of Possibility: Emily Dickinson’s Manuscripts, Amherst and Boston: U of Massachusetts P, 2005.

Suzanne Juhasz (ed.), Feminist Critics Read Emily Dickinson, Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1983 [For its chapter by Christanne Miller: ‘How “Low Feet” Stagger: Disruptions of Language in Dickinson’s Poetry’].

Peter L. Groves, Strange Music: The Metre of the English Heroic Line, Victoria, B.C: U of Victoria, 1998.

R. W. Franklin (ed.), The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 1998.

I’m going to spend the whole weekend in my pyjamas, with a cup of tea, reading. 😀