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17 September 2013

Note to Readers

I set out to comment on all of Emily Dickinson's poems. So far I've done 500 of them – and that's not even a third! Alas, readers, I am needing to take a break. There's that novel in the drawer... . I do intend to start up again, but for now I am laying down the Franklin. I am a Dickinson student, not a scholar, and I have learned a lot from the poems. Just looking up pictures, for example, to illustrate some of the words and phrases in the works has been an education in geography, blacksmithing, Victorian fashion, Puritan New England, and Massachussetts flowers.
        Greater than any of that, of course, are the deep insights flashing through Dickinson's incredible poetry. Studying the poems I experienced horror, love, grief, glee, madness, torment – at a deeper level than when I had experienced those emotions in "real" life. I will forever reverence the bees: the June bee, who is like Heaven; the lover bee who "Counts his nectars – Enters / and is lost in Balms; the God Bee who along with butterflies and breezes comprise the holy Trinity; and the drinking buddy Bee who toasts his wife with "minute flagons."
       Harold Bloom in Genius says that Dickinson "is so original a genius that she alters one's sense of what poetic genius can be." I have been studying marvels.

I particularly want to thank those who took the time to comment. So many poems came alive to me in new ways because of a reader's insights. It was also great just to get a smiley face.

I would like to propose that if any of my readers (you know who you are...) would like to pick up the reins and carry on with the project for the next year or half a year, they should contact me. It would be a grand adventure! Leave a comment or else contact me directly:
susan at natperspective.... com.


  1. Wishing you a happy respite from blog writing! Will miss the posts, but hopefully will continue reading new posts sometime in the future.

    I completely agree with Harold Bloom in this case--ED's realm of possibility extends the realm so fully that one is just left in amazement.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! It was a lot of fun getting the chance to connect to some ED poems this year...

  2. I am sorry to see you take a break -- but I understand it completely. When I first encountered your blog six months ago it was just after I had taken a pilgrimage to the Homestead in Amherst. I was searching on the internet for something of the passion I was feeling -- and found you! I was and still am amazed that you had jumped into such a quixotic and ambitious undertaking!

    What I have enjoyed since is the chance to share a love of ED's poetry with such a thoughtful and generous mind. There are so many points where you have illuminated the poems -- or given me reason to see and consider carefully poems that I hadn't read before. Among these is the "prowling bee" poem itself -- now one of my favorites!

    Perhaps you would be able to continue at a slower pace over the next year and a half (I was really looking forward to F. 504!). In any event, I am very grateful.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I second your thoughts ..
      This was precious and so generous and so wonderful ..
      I am so happy today that I found this.
      Thank you Susan Kornfeld :-)

  3. Susan your work has been admirable, I hope you rest and come back soon. Meanwhile, I will keep reading the previous posts in this wonderful blog, and enjoying the endless poetry of Emily Dickinson.
    Deeply grateful.

  4. I discovered your blog just after this note. I find the commentary to be very insightful and deep, just like Dickinson's poetry. THANK YOU!

  5. One more point! You probably know about this but just in case: the Dickinson archive is now live!
    Her manuscripts...everything :D

  6. Thank you all for your kind comments. I am missing the blog, and will probably do a poem now and again starting soon. Meantime, there is the great resource the last commenter refers to -- now you can look at the poem the way Dickinson wrote it. Wonderful!

  7. Hi Susan, Just finished an Amy Clampitt essay on Marianne Moore that reminded me of your relaxed, sensitive and graceful thinkings about Emily D.. Incidentally, soon after our last exchange I did find occasion to use "Dalian flapdoodle." Hope you had similar luck. Best wishes for your life and work, Al Kuhn

  8. Thank You Very Much for your thoughtful comments on this great poet. I came back to see your thoughts on Fr 522 - I feel we will both be doing this the rest of our days! Best Wishes! Tom boring