Emily on the Hurricane
Yes, that’s Emily Dickinson on the left. She was born in December, 1830, and died in May, 1886, having led a rather enclosed and secluded life in Amherst, Massachusetts. To read about her is to feel sorry for her, but we have such scant evidence of her life beyond her poems that we might be mistaken. She had deep friendships and a peppery sense of humor, so maybe she wasn’t utterly sad or solemn. She once wrote of her father, saying “He buys me many books, but begs me not to read them, because he fears they joggle the mind.” And of her family she wrote, “They are religious, except me, and address an eclipse, every morning, whom they call their ‘father’.” As for the image here, you had to remain perfectly still for several moments when sitting for a daguerreotype photo, such as this one, so she looks stiffer and more formally composed than she actually was. And she favored white garments, not the dark shade of whatever color the photo registers as plain black. Of her eyes, she once wrote that they were “like the sherry the guest leaves in the glass.” Now, the reason she’s on this page is because she wrote a poem about a hurricane, and as we have a huge one eating up the North-East Coast and moving inland today — it will reach Amherst — we thought we’d post her verse here today.
There came a Wind like a Bugle —
It quivered through the Grass
And a Green Chill upon the Heat
So ominous did pass
We barred the Windows and the Doors
As from an Emerald Ghost —
The Doom’s electric Moccasin
That very instant passed —
On a strange Mob of panting Trees
And Fences fled away
And Rivers where the Houses ran
Those looked that lived — that Day —
The Bell within the steeple wild
The flying tidings told —
How much can come
And much can go,
And yet abide the World!
- If you have a comment to make, we'd like to hear from you, so long as it doesn't reduce us to tears. Or, better yet, if you've written a couple of paragraphs on an engaging topic, send them along. Our email address is on the Contact page, and you can get there by clicking the word Contact just above the calender.
Gene Mirabelli writes most of the posts here, so we're very pleased to announce that his recent novel, Renato, the Painter, has won a first prize for Literary Fiction in the 2013 Independent Publisher (IP or "IPPY") Book awards.
The Awards program was created to highlight the year’s most distinguished books from independent publishers. Award winners are chosen by librarians and booksellers who are on the front lines, working everyday with patrons and customers. Some 125 books competed for the literary fiction Gold Medal. These books are examples of independent publishing at its finest.
Publishers Weekly says "In prose as lusty and vigorous as Renato himself, Mirabelli captures the feeling of coming to terms - ready or not - with old age." For more about the writer and his book, turn to our contact page or to the author's web site.
What have we got here…Art Arts Banks Books Chicken Little Christmas Classic novels Culture Death Democrats Economics Eggnog Flower Flowers Food French Cinema Great literature History Lies Literature Marijuana Media Movies Nasturtiums Nature Nudity Occupy Wall Street Painting Poem Poems Poetry Politics Privacy Reading Religion Republicans Romney Science Sex Society Starving writers Supreme Court Taxes Thanksgiving theology