Guests in Eden

which need only pin-points of room. Yet they are not smaller than their themes, which are life, nature, love, time and eter­nity. Every fact has a shining significance, and every story throws off rings of light. The whole world has its center in this spot.

The cult of provincialism could go no further than it went in Emily Dickinson, whose province was one house. Provincial­ism like hers is universality. Here was she, there was life. It looked so large to her, in her still retreat, that she could not exploit it or condescend to it or turn it over in deliberate fin­gers. She thrilled and trembled, and had to use her strongest and happiest words to tell what she knew, hoped, feared in it. What she did is all that any poet can do. Whether a poet's garden is wide or narrow, he must, to be a good poet, treat it as a universe.


   by Louis GINSBERG

She collected
      Sunsets ruddy
And tethered them safe
      Around her study.

She fenced in neatly,

As it were a dew-drop,
      She was nimble
To snuggle Eternity
      Into a thimble . . .

New York Herald Tribune, March 6, 1946
Reprinted by permission.

image | previous page | next page | search the archives

  Critical Materials Main Menu
Transcription and commentary copyright 2000 by
Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved.
Maintained by Lara Vetter <>
Last updated on March 10, 2008

Dickinson Electronic Archives