Hey reader. Where’d you go? Emily Dickinson’s been waiting a couple of hundred years just to join our Interviews with the Famously Departed series. Emily was born in December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts. Known for retiring to her family house almost before she could spell Massachusetts and wearing different shades of white, she lived and wrote poetry there until she died on May 15, 1886.
Any luck with the men in the after-life.?
Well, there’s a lot of men I don’t talk to. Women too. That Charlotte Bronte. Always putting on Eyres. But it was good to finally meet Emerson and Wadsworth Wordsworth Longfellow. Melville takes himself too seriously and Hawthorne gabbles about gables too much. But still there’s a few I might think about dating in millennium or two.
So Emily. You wrote a lot about love, death and immortality. How’s it feel to be dead and immortal? Is there romance where you are?
The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
(The Bustle in a House)
You were known as something of a recluse. So how about some thoughts on today’s seekers of fame and fortune.
Dancing with the Stars?
For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ration
To the ecstasy.
(For each ecstatic instant)
Going on Oprah?
How dreary - to be - somebody!
How public - like a frog
To tell your name - the livelong June
To an admiring bog!
(I’m Nobody! Who are you?)
Let’s try some questions about writing. We’ll start with opinion columns. Have you had a chance to look at online publications?
There is no Frigate like a book to take us lands away
Nor any coursers like a page of prancing Poetry.
(There is no frigate like a book)
What did you think of the writer’s (movies) strike a while back?
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee
One clover, and a bee. And revery.
The revery alone will do.
If bees are few.
(To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, Collected Poems)
Trying to get a publisher for one’s manuscript?
The possible's slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.
(The gleam of an heroic act)
Yeah but it took an afterlife for you to get published?
A word is dead when it is said, some say.
I say it just begins to live that day.
(A word is dead)
So in other words?
He ate and drank the precious Words
His Spirit grew robust
He knew no more that he was poor
Nor that his frame was Dust.
(He ate and drank the precious words)
Let’s try some advice issues. Advice for malpractice lawyers?
Surgeons must be very careful.
When they take the knife!
Underneath their fine incisions,
Stirs the Culprit - Life!
(Surgeons must be very careful; Collected Poems)
Advice to stockbrokers?
Finite to fail
But infinite to venture.
(Finite to fail, but infinite to venture)
Let’s get back to men. You’re from the home of the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics.
What about college basketball?
A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.
(A little Madness in the Spring)
If I can stop one heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain.
(If I can stop one heart from breaking; Collected Poems)
To whom the mornings are like nights
What must the midnights be!
(Letter. 1870. Susan Gilbert Dickinson)
A closing thoughts on politics?
Anger as soon as fed is dead
'Tis starving makes it fat
(Mine enemy is growing old; Collected Poems)
It’s 100 degrees today, again. Any thoughts on global warming?
How strange that nature does not knock
And yet does not intrude.
(Letter. About 1877. Mrs. James S. Cooper)
Finally, a little perspective?
To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.
(Letters. Late 1872. T.W. Higginson)