Guests in Eden

might come. That attitude of heart is entirely consonant with her graceful renunciation of an honor extended her when she was selected to give the meditation before the communion service in the Congregational Church in Amherst which was celebrating an anniversary. "He (the minister) alone can give us all something we would be deprived to miss", she com­mented. That spirit of lowliness of heart was consonant also with her expressions of reverence and regard for friends: "Yours with love high up"; "I wish you a tall star all of your own from a high sky." It was consonant with her choice of symbol: the picture of a wayside shrine on the high Alps, "a constant companion-it points the way higher." And it was consonant finally with her sense of humor which speaks in any heart a sense of proportion, of kindness, of generosity, a recognition of the incongruities in human nature, and in her own heart a self-examination that could inspire a flash of wit like "Yours in and out of the Lord."



It is too difficult for me to give a clear picture of Martha's friendship for me. For her trust in me, and her feeling for any ability I might have had in my poetry, came through her inspirational eyes.

Her deep interest in her friends, and great loyalty to them, could not have been stronger. She gave herself in her devotion to them. Her sympathy was unbounded, as were her faith and belief in them.

Emily Dickinson, in her poetry, never hesitated to take the unprecedented leap and land solid in the air. Martha’s flash, quick as a lightning bolt, would outdo anyone’s conversation with a hitherto unknown blaze of color. Conversation to her imaginative mind was a springboard from which to leap into

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Transcription and commentary copyright 2000 by
Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
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Last updated on March 10, 2008

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