You asked how old I was? I made no verse — but one or two — until this winter — Sir — [she actually had about 300 by this time]

I had terror — since September — I could tell to none — and so I sing, as the Boy does by the Burying Ground — because I am afraid — You inquire my Books — For Poets, I have Keats — and Mr and Mrs Browning. For Prose — Mr Ruskin — Sir Thomas Browne — and the Revelations. I went to school — but in your manner of the phrase — had no education. When a little Girl, I had a friend, who taught me Immortality — but venturing too near, himself — he never returned — Soon after, my Tutor died — and for several years my Lexicon — was my only companion — Then I found one more — but he was not contented I be his scholar — so he left the Land.

You ask of my Companions— Hills — Sir — and the Sundown — and a Dog — large as myself that my father bought me — They are better than Beings — because they know — but do not tell — and the noise in the Pool, at Noon — excels my Piano.

I sing to use the Waiting
My Bonnet but to tie
And shut the Door unto my House
No more to do have I

Till His best step approaching
We journey to the Day
And tell each other how We sung
To Keep the Dark away.

~Emily Dickinson, #850 (1864)

Legault’s “translation” for that one is “Zombies are sad because they don’t fit in anywhere.”

To this World she returned.
But with a tinge of that —
A Compound manner,
As a Sod
Espoused a Violet,
That chiefer to the Skies
Than to Himself, allied,
Dwelt hesitating, half of Dust,
And half of Day, the Bride.

~Emily Dickinson, #830 (1864)
As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away —
Too imperceptible at last
To seem like Perfidy —
A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
Sequestered Afternoon —
The Dusk drew earlier in —
The Morning foreign shone —
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, that would be gone —
And thus, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape
Into the Beautiful.

~Emily Dickinson, #1540 (1865)

Have you got a Brook in your little heart,
Where bashful flowers blow,
And blushing birds go down to drink,
And shadows tremble so —

And nobody knows, so still it flows,
That any brook is there,
And yet your little draught of life
Is daily drunken there —

Why, look out for the little brook in March,
When the rivers overflow,
And the snows come hurrying from the hills,
And the bridges often go —

And later, in August it may be —
When the meadows parching lie,
Beware, lest this little brook of life,
Some burning noon go dry!

~Emily Dickinson, #136 (1859)
Do you look out to-night? The moon rides like a girl through a topaz town.

~Emily Dickinson, from a letter to Samuel Bowles, January 1862 (via litverve)

A wounded deer leaps highest,I’ve heard the hunter tell;'Tis but the ecstasy of death,And then the brake is still.
The smitten rock that gushes,The trampled steel that springs:A cheek is always redderJust where the hectic stings!Mirth is mail of anguish,In which its cautious armLest anybody spy the bloodAnd “You’re hurt” exclaim!
Emily Dickinson

Lettering by Jorgen Grotdal


A wounded deer leaps highest,
I’ve heard the hunter tell;
'Tis but the ecstasy of death,
And then the brake is still.

The smitten rock that gushes,
The trampled steel that springs:
A cheek is always redder
Just where the hectic stings!

Mirth is mail of anguish,
In which its cautious arm
Lest anybody spy the blood
And “You’re hurt” exclaim!

Emily Dickinson

Lettering by Jorgen Grotdal

I started Early — Took my Dog —
And visited the Sea —
The Mermaids in the Basement —
Came out to look at me —

And Frigates – in the Upper Floor
Extended Hempen Hands –
Presuming Me to be a Mouse –
Aground – upon the Sands –

But no Man moved Me – till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe –
And past my Apron – and my Belt
And past my Bodice – too –

And made as He would eat me up –
As wholly as a Dew
Upon a Dandelion’s Sleeve –
And then — I Started — too —

And He – He followed – close behind –
I felt His Silver Heel
Upon my Ankle – Then My Shoes
Would overflow with Pearl –

Until We met the Solid Town –
No One He seemed to know –
And bowing – with a Mighty look –
At me – The Sea withdrew –

~Emily Dickinson, #520 (1862)
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