11 July 2009

Because I know your day needs a little Dickinson

A letter she wrote to her uncle; Summer, 1858:

Much has occurred, dear Uncle, since my writing you—so much—that I stagger as I write, in sharp remembrance…

Today has been so glad without, and yet so grieved within—so jolly, shone the sun—and now the moon comes stealing, and yet it makes none glad. I cannot always see the light—please tell me if it shines.

I hope you are well, these many days, and have much joy.

There is a smiling summer here, which causes birds to sing, and sets the bees in motion.
Strange blooms arise on many stalks, and trees receive their tenants.
I would you saw what I can see, and imbibed this music. The day went down, long time ago, and still a simple choir bear the canto on.
I dont know who it is that sings, nor did I, would I tell!

God gives us many cups. Perhaps you will come to Amherst, before the wassail’s done. Our man has mown today, and as he plied his scythe, I thought of other mowings, and garners far from here.
I wonder how long we shall wonder; how early we shall know

I meet some octogenarians—but men and women seldomer, and at longer intervals—“little children,” of whom is the “Kingdom of Heaven.” How tiny some will have to grow, to gain admission there!

I hardly know what I have said—my words put all their feathers on—and fluttered here and there. Please give my warmest love to my aunts and cousins—and write me, should you please, some summer’s evening.

(This is also from Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters, ed. Thomas H. Johnson)


Cheryl said...

I have never been a big fan of Dickinson's poetry. But that letter is beautiful! I would gladly read more of those! Thanks for posting it.

Rebekah said...

Reminds me of one something I heard in an lit class once, that the best prose is held together by poetry.

Reb. Mary said...

Cheryl: I think I like her letters as much as her poetry.

Rebekah, 'zaktly.

Joy said...

My favorite Dickinson quote: It is no small thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.