Monday, September 14, 2009

While at Bread Loaf, I eased myself into Dickinson studies by reading The Poet and the Murderer, which is deceptive with its Dickinson cover and double billing in the title, but I learned more on how to counterfeit rare documents and coins and the rejection of Mormonism by said murderer than anything else.

Despite this, I culled two quotes to keep in mind as I read that brick that is her collected poems over the next few weeks, the second being particularly significant as I am studying Bishop later in the semester:

[Dickinson's nephew Ned] lived next door to hear at the Evergreens, and Dickinson, who never had children of her own, adored him. The feeling seems to have been reciprocated. Ned frequently ran across from the Evergreens to visit his brilliant, eccentric aunt. On one occasion he left his rubber boots behind. Dickinson sent them back on a silver tray, their tops stuffed with flowers.
- Simon Worrall, The Poet and the Murderer, pg. 6

[Harvard scholar Thomas] Johnson's edition also plucked a shy girl from Massachusetts out of her self-chosen seclusion and turned her into the It girl of modern American Poetry. "I like, or at least I admire, her a great deal more now," the poet Elizabeth Bishop wrote to Robert Lowell in 1956, "probably because of that good new edition, really. I spent another stretch absorbed in that, and think... that she's about the best we have."
- pg. 25

1 comment:

Jessie Carty said...

i might have to pick that book up :)
i just read another blog post about Emily today!!