Tomorrow is Emily’s 182nd birthday! She was born in Amherst, MA on Dec. 10, 1830.
Click here to listen to poet Jorie Graham read Emily Dickinson’s “I know that he exists” at her Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute Reading on December 13, 1994.
Click here to listen to Jorie Graham talk about what to listen for in Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
“The World Is Not Acquainted With Us”
New photo of Emily Dickinson? Researchers are excited! The new picture recently discovered and believed to be Emily Dickinson (left) and her friend Kate Scott Turner offers us a mature and serene adult image of Emily. To read more about this exciting discovery, visit here.
Check out this amazing video of facial comparisons between the known photo of a teenage Emily (1847) and the newly discovered Emily Dickinson daguerreotype (1859)! Feel free to tell us what you think…
A Letter From Emily Dickinson - Emily posted the letter below in 1862 to Mr. Higginson, editor of The Atlantic Magazine, whom she considered her literary counselor and confident. Her poetic genius is evident in the many fascinating letters posted in this article by Mr. Higginson in 1891 after Emily’s death. To read more of her letters, please visit here.
Your kindness claimed earlier gratitude, but I was ill, and write to-day from my pillow.
Thank you for the surgery; it was not so painful as I supposed. I bring you others, as you ask, though they might not differ. While my thought is undressed, I can make the distinction; but when I put them in the gown, they look alike and numb.
You asked how old I was? I made no verse, but one or two, until this winter, sir.
I had a terror since September, I could tell to none; and so I sing, as the boy does by the burying ground, because I am afraid.
You inquire my books. For poets, I have Keats, and Mr. and Mrs. Browning. For prose, Mr. Ruskin, Sir Thomas Browne, and the Revelations. I went to school, but in your manner of the phrase had no education. When a little girl, I had a friend who taught me Immortality; but venturing too near, himself, he never returned. Soon after my tutor died, and for several years my lexicon was my only companion. Then I found one more, but he was not contented I be his scholar, so he left the land.
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog large as myself, that my father bought me. They are better than beings because they know, but do not tell; and the noise in the pool at noon excels my piano. Continue reading here.
In Celebration of Emily’s Birthday – Here’s a posting of her famous ultra-rich black cake recipe. It’s actually a brandy-soaked fruit-filled cake! During her later years, Emily would lower her cakes and bread specialties in a basket from her bedroom window to give to friends and the local children. Why not carry on her tradition by baking some of these moist cakes and placing them in old fashioned tins to pass around for the holidays, with little tags of favorite Emily Dickinson poems? And of course be sure to wear your white apron while baking! Perhaps there’s a secret ingredient, some special alchemy somewhere in the mixture of aromatics and brandy, something to explain the explosion of senses as one ingests, in slow bites, Emily’s favorite flavors! Hope you, too, enjoy a slice of poetry to celebrate this great American poet.