Saturday, September 17, 2011

Emily Dickinson: In Praise of Reverie

I'm considering a chapter, in my book-in-progress, on Emily Dickinson.

She was a keen gardener, and her poetry was informed by her horticultural and botanical eye.  Robins, fir-trees, mushrooms - the landscape provided her with an animated symbolic universe.

But this was not simply bland naturalism.  The landscape had to be transformed by an engaged, enriching consciousness - what she called 'revery'.  I'll leave the final word to Ms. Dickinson, with her customary economy:
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,—
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.
(Photo: courtesy of David Gunter)

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