7 Reasons to Read Emily Dickinson

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As I mentioned previously, our household has two patron poet saints, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. In some ways Uncle Walt is an easy person to like. He’s enthusiastic and authentic. He loves almost everybody. He seems like a great guy to have a beer with. (Of course, you would be buying.)

Emily Dickinson is a harder sell. She’s intense and intensely strange. She writes about death, and snakes, and bees. She has a reputation for being a hermit. Academics tend to get into arguments about whether she avoided company because she was “shy” or because she had work to do and didn’t want to spend all day complementing visitors on their hats and offering to pour them some more tea. Yes, I’m in the latter camp.

Here’s why you should read some of her poems: Continue reading

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Each Note

God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.

Each note is a need coming through one of us

a passion, a longing-pain.

Remember the lips

where the wind-breath note originated,

and let your note be clear.

Don’t try to end it.

Be your note.

I’ll show you how it’s enough.

Go up on the roof at night

in this city of the soul.

Let everyone climb on their roofs

and sing their notes!

Sing loud!

Jalāl, Al-Dīn Rūmī. “Each Note.” The Essential Rumi. Trans. Coleman Barks. San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1995. 102-03. Print.