Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to...

Emily Dickinson (born in 1830). I had the opportunity to visit her house in Amherst, Massachusetts, and was amazed that her writing desk was about the size of an end table. Obviously she didn’t have enough room to become a novelist, with space needed for those mountains of scraps of paper and odd notes!

Here’s one of my favorite poems by her:

After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
A Wooden way Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First -- Chill -- then Stupor -- then the letting go --


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.