Excerpts for Emily Dickinson's Letters to the World


Emily Dickinson's Letters to the World

By Jeanette Winter

FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX

Copyright © 2002 Jeanette Winter.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 0-374-32147-7



Chapter One


My sister Emily was buried today.


The spring sun dried the tears
that ran down
my cheeks.


Emily's upstairs room
was the smallest in the house.


On many a night
her lamp burned bright
until dawn,
What kept Emily awake,
we wondered?


Emily never went anywhere.
Townsfolk thought her strange.


This house—and the garden—were
her world.


Emily's writing table is bare now.


Where are the sheets
and scraps of paper
she was always
writing on?


Emily read the dictionary
as others read a storybook.


What did Emily find
in all those
words?


And here are the dresses she wore—only
white—in summer and winter.


But, oh! what is this?
Poems—and poems—and
even more poems—there
must be hundreds!
This, then, is what Emily was writing—day
and night, it must have been.


"This is my letter to the World ..."


This is my letter to the World
That never wrote to Me—
The simple News that Nature told—
With tender Majesty


Her Message is committed
To Hands I cannot see—
For love of Her—Sweet—countrymen—
Judge tenderly—of Me


It was the brave Columbus,
A sailing o'er the tide,
Who notified the nations
Of where I would reside!


Snow flakes.


I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town,
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down.
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig,
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshalled for a jig!


Excerpted from Emily Dickinson's Letters to the World by Jeanette Winter. Copyright © 2002 by Jeanette Winter. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.



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