The Emily Project: Emily Dickinson, Edith, and Me

Hmm. Old ways do die hard.  I thought I had kicked the procrastination habit by actually completing NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately, this new found euphoria of meeting deadlines did not carry over into the December Photo-A-Day.  I tended to batch hit this project and *chagrin* did not complete all the days.

I have decided on a new challenge and since there are no requirements, deadlines, and other factors I tend to ignore, I should do better.  For the month of January I am launching the Emily Project.

For the month of January and maybe February I am going to focus on poems by Emily Dickinson.  Why Emily?  Truthfully, I hadn’t known of her existence until we began our poetry unit and after reading a couple of her poems I have decided I absolutely love the way Emily D ignores punctuation and speaks from the heart in all those crazy capitalized metaphors. Plus, I came across a really old volume of her poems.  I wanted some cool older books for my bookshelf and found this little green cloth-bound The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. The inside cover states it was owned by an Edith Strield (?) at one point.  Edith must have adored Emily D as well, since she has left her spidery comments next to quite a few of the poems.  We have always been taught to not write in our books and get hefty fines (and a lecture from the librarian) when we turn in our textbooks at the end of the year.  I like reading Edith’s shadowy comments.  It’s like I’m having a silent conversation with Edith about Emily’s poetry.  Because, quite frankly, I haven’t a clue what the poems are about half, if not all, the time.  Edith might have only one word or just a sentence, and yet that little bit helps me understand what is going on in the poem.

Sometime this week I’ll post my first Emily Project poem.  Until then here are some Emily D facts (thanks Wikipedia):

  • Born December 10, 1830
  • Died May 15, 1886
  • Became a recluse after attending school
  • Known to wear white
  • Fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime
  • Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality
  • Lavinia, Emily’s younger sister, discovered her cache of poems after Emily’s death
  • Emily liked Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, and Charlotte Bronte
  • Carlo, was her Newfoundland’s name
  • She wrote over 300 hundred letters to her friend Susan
  • Upon her death her sister burned Emily’s papers (her request) but not her poems and began working on them to get them published
  • Emily was buried in a white coffin
Emily dickinson

Emily Dickinson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10 responses to “The Emily Project: Emily Dickinson, Edith, and Me

  1. Pingback: The Emily Project: Poem IX (The Heart Asks Pleasure First) | Verasimilitude

  2. Pingback: The Emily Project: X (A Precious, Mouldering Pleasure) | Verasimilitude

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  4. Pingback: The Emily Project: Part One/Life–XI (Much Madness) | Verasimilitude

  5. Pingback: The Emily Project: Part One/Life: XII (I Asked No Other Thing) | Verasimilitude

  6. Pingback: We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Program… | Verasimilitude

  7. Pingback: The Emily Project: Part One/Life–XIII (The Soul Selects Her Own Society) | Verasimilitude

  8. Pingback: Pardon, Me, Emily, Jane’s Calling | Verasimilitude

  9. Pingback: The Emily Project: Part One/Life–XVI (To fight aloud is very brave) | Verasimilitude

  10. Pingback: #9: Poems to Know and Grow On « cricketmuse

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