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Autumn - overlooked my Knitting

Yesterday, I was thinking of Emily Dickinson off and on. When I think of Emily, she usually looks like this:

Isn't she beautiful there? That's how my good friend Kevin Slattery saw her when he created his "Four Seasons of Emily Dickinson". The quote on the left side of the image comes from the following Dickinson poem:

Autumn — overlooked my Knitting —
Dyes — said He — have I —
Could disparage a Flamingo —
Show Me them — said I —

Cochineal — I chose — for deeming
It resemble Thee —
And the little Border — Dusker —
For resembling Me —

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 21st, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)

When I think of Emily Dickinson, I imagine her locked up in her "garret," writing poetry at an old, heavy, wooden desk. I even picture a little trap door through which food was passed in to her and her poetry was passed out.

Where on earth does this image come from? She couldn't have been that sequestered, could she?

Or could she?
I also picture her batty as hell.
Sep. 21st, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
She wasn't quite that sequestered. But rumor is that she always dressed in white (which seems unlikely) and really didn't travel or leave her property all that much. For sure, she did quite a lot of gardening. And her poems make clear that she spent time walking as well.

And she may have been batty as hell. Who's to say?
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
Gardening?! I can't picture that at all.
Maybe she did something like bonsai.

I can imagine potted bonsai plants up there in the garret.

Well, you can tell me to stop.
Sep. 21st, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
When I say "batty as hell" - this is in the most affectionate way.
Sep. 21st, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
As the one who "sees" her like this....
I am by no means even close to an expert on Emily Dickinson. I only became a fan two or three years ago. I sought out to do her portrait once "for her birthday" and that began "my love affair." I find her poetry so very accessible --and probably for all the reasons Kelly illustrates in poetry posts-- I don't sing "Gilligan" nor Amazing Grace" but I probably rock out yo a bluesier form of "a ballad" which those two songs are.

I think you're right. She may have been "batty as hell" or "all dressed in white in her prison tower" but to me her poems sing of another soul inside those "other images."

She gardens in her slip on a hot summer day. She sips tea and arranges flowers. She knits with an apparition of a flamingo. Or with a snake in her winter room. She even plays an electric guitar!

That's what I see when I read Emily's poems....

the artist known as slatts
Sep. 21st, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Re: As the one who "sees" her like this....
I love her poetry as well. I love her use of punctuation -- the hyphens especially, which gives her poems a kind of weight. It's funny because around the time Kelly started mentioning ED in her posts, I also by very coincidence, began finding her in my YA. My narrator, who discovers poetry, stumbles across her. So it is nice to find another fan. :-)

I think in general, batty people are interesting souls.
Sep. 21st, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
Re: As the one who "sees" her like this....
Oh! I'm so glad that Emily is in your work. Whoever you are.
Sep. 21st, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Re: As the one who "sees" her like this....
btw, that anonymous comment was me. I forgot to log in.
Sep. 21st, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
Re: As the one who "sees" her like this....
Ah ha! So Emily is in your work now? Cool!
Sep. 22nd, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
Re: As the one who "sees" her like this....
Oooh, you forgot! Well...it's been a while, but yeah. She's in there. :-)
Sep. 22nd, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
btw, that anonymous comment was me. I forgot to log in.
Anonymous Emily fans seems somewhat appropriate here! :-)
Sep. 22nd, 2008 12:49 am (UTC)
Re: As the one who "sees" her like this....
Emily gardening in a slip . . . what a notion. And yet, Edna St. Vincent Millay gardened nude, so why not a slip for Miss Emily?
Sep. 21st, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
TadMack says: :)
I love that she imagines herself as dusker -- darker -- less showy than cochineal autumn, with his flamingo dyes.

Man, now I need to sit down and knit something. I love that she knitted... it's a tiny connection between us (Only I'm sure she was much better at it).
Sep. 21st, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
Re: TadMack says: :)
Dude, I'm envious. I so can't knit. I mean, I can cast on, and do some knitting and purling, but the end product is always a screwy, skewy, wobbly thing.
Sep. 21st, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
there's this almost unbearable sadness to emily's face in photographs that is so hard to capture.
douglas f.
Sep. 21st, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
Re: emily
It's her eyes, I think. They are so open and unblinking, yet unfathomable.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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