by CARL VAN DOREN
Emily Dickinson, such a recluse that even Thoreau seems in
comparison a traveler, scarcely left her father's house and
grounds in Amherst for more than thirty years. She had been
in love with somebody and had somehow lost him. The records
agree on no other point. A secret in white, she moved
about on the safe side of the threshold or risked the long distance
to the garden. To cross the hedge to her brother's house
next door was an adventure. At times she preferred to send a
letter. Her letters, once she had taught herself to write in her
own way, were little more specific than her poems. She would
fold a thought or a mood into words and toss it to a friend.
Transcription and commentary copyright 2000 by
Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
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Last updated on March 10, 2008