happy birthday Emily Dickinson

A poet I love to read and hate to teach. Each poem works better as a nexus for thought and imagination rather than a thing to be pulled apart.

And I like this drawing of ED as a child:

I don't know how authentic it is, but I like how it offers something different from the familiar photos.

Here's a poem I've had rattling around in my head for twenty-five years.

There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons--
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes--

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us--
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the meanings are--

None may teach it--Any--
'Tis the Seal Despair--
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air--

When it comes, the Landscape listens--
Shadows--hold their breath--
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance

On the look of Death--