Thursday, April 14, 2011

The "Big Read" For Emily Dickinson

          Okay, today I'm taking a break from my otherwise silliness to tell you about something really cool that's going on around my local area. From April 2-May 21, 2011, the Emily Dickinson Museum, located at 280 Main Street, Amherst of my neighbor hosting its second “Big Read” of Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
                      {The posters were designed by Penny Michalak}
        And something really, really cool about this is that they're having, like, an encounter of 15 "Poems Around Town" at unexpected places. The brightly-colored posters of Dickinson's poems are gonna be at 15 businesses and organizations in downtown Amherst. And  throughout the "Big Read", you can walk around town to see and read them! They even have a map of where you can find them. Click here!
      On the Museum's site they say:"The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.  The Emily Dickinson Museum is one of 75 non-profit organizations throughout the United States to receive a grant to host a Big Read project this year. The Big Read gives local communities the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate together one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature."
         As a poet myself, I'm embarrassed to tell you that until this past week I didn't know anything about Emily Dickinson, except her name, and that she was indeed a poet. But a friend told me a little bit about her, while talking to me about the similarities she saw between me and Emily...After reading up on her, I'm completely flattered!.....And after my Wikipedia education I know a lot more about Emily Dickinson now! :-)
      For instance, her full name is Emily Elizabeth Dickinson. She was born on December 10, 1830 and died May 15, 1886. She was an American Poet, born in Amherst Massachusetts. She lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. As a matter of fact, she was considered as sort of an eccentric by the locals. 
      There are some definite differences between her and I. Like the fact that she had a reluctance to greet guests, and most of her friendships were carried out by correspondence!...I like to write, but you can't substitute a hug or a hand holding with written words! :-] 
      I also found out that many of her poems dealt with themes of death and immortality....Uhh...I definitely, for the most part, keep it a bit more on the positive side. ^_^
      One thing, for sure, we have in common though is that she was a prolific writer...and so am I. I'm not as prolific as her....YET, though! She had nearly 1,800 poems. Interestingly though, fewer than a dozen of them were published during her lifetime. It wasn't until after her death in 1886 when Lavinia, Emily's younger sister, discovered her cache of poems and the breadth of her work became apparent. (A complete and mostly unaltered collection of her poetry became available for the first time in 1955 when The Poems of Emily Dickinson was published by Thomas H. Johnson.) 
      I wish my hips worked well enough for me to do this walk around downtown Amherst so that I could see and read the posters myself. *sigh* But I'll have to experience through pictures. Hubby is going to go and get some photos for me. I'll share them with you, probably tomorrow. 
     On the personal front, hubby's brother had some surgery yesterday and hubby went and played care-giver for the day with him for a change. I hog most of his time for me whenever I can, but yesterday 'brother' needed him, and he was a fabulous little 'brother-helper-nurse'. :-)) I was happy to share him for the day. I think 'brother' was too! :-) We all do what we have to do, when we have to do it, don't we?!
      Okay, a poem about poetry would be appropriate today, don't you think?! :-)

Poetry, the gift of words,
that help you say whats in your heart;
that puts your thoughts of life together,
but pulls emotions all apart.

Poetry, your quiet friend,
that gives your voice a place to land;
that gives the things you'd  never say
a way to jump out from your hand.

Poetry, done to a beat,
a beat of words, said right in time,
without confusion of the music,
but just the rhythm and the rhyme.

Poetry, phrase harmony;
the way a noun and adverb meet;
the way they line up line-by-line,
and all Not needed they delete.

Poetry, the passing thoughts,
and all the others I hold dear,
of all the people and the places
that I've  written down right here.

Poetry, the gift of words,
and putting them together too;
Without the pen and paper
what in the world would my mind do?


  1. Nice to get that little history lesson on Emily Dickinson. She has always been a favorite of mine. I'd love to go to the Big Read too! Sounds fun. I look forward to the photos, my virtual visit! LOL

  2. CinLynn, Yeah, it was a history lesson for me too! I feel a kinship with her a bit now. And someone from 'right around the way', so to speak, too! WHO KNEW?!!...Not me! I have loved some of her poems, but I'm afraid I don't know much poetic history about anybody really. I should become more knowledgeable about my beloved poetry...Who has the time anymore?! ^_^ Oh well, I'll show you the walk pictures tomorrow.

  3. I didn't know about Emily Dickinson either so it was nice to have a little history lesson. Sounds like a lovely idea to. Your poems are so very lovely you should try and get them published they really touch me sometimes and that's a good poet i feel that's in tune with human emotions. enjoy the rest of your week, dee x

  4. delia, Awwww! I thank you so much for taking the time to read it. It was an education for me that was long overdo, considering the fact that I am a poet and should know the history of my craft, and that I have loved certain poems of hers for years...And thank you so much for the encouragement to go ahead and publish my poetry. I probably would have done it already if not for all of the contracts and details and stuff. I just want it to be! Like ripping off a band-aid! LOL Maybe I need to get someone to ghost-publish it for me....Hmmmmm! :-]

  5. I was an English major and I don't think I've read more than three Dickinson poems. You make me want to. Maybe I will! People with the middle name Elizabeth always make me happy (is mine too). I hope your brother-in-law is doing ok? And that you are enjoying this nice spring day and maybe sitting around reading poetry <3

  6. OttosMom, Oooo! An English Major! That explains your 'way with a word' and your ability to teach without it atually feeling like you're being taught! :-) Otto is very fortunate to have you as his Mom...And go ahead, do some Dickinson reading! (I have some photos from the walk I'll share tomorrow, with her poems on them.) Stick to her more upbeat stuff though. :-)

  7. Emily Dickenson has always been just a name to me too - I think I may have read some of her work while still at school. I am now certainly going to look her up!

  8. Creating Trouble, I'm so glad I inspired you to look her up! :-) It was a nice read for me. I hope you find it so too!


Wait!! Click the "Join This Site" button, and leave me a comment! I'd love to get your thoughts! ^_^