500 Days of Women | Day 9 | Emily Dickinson


Emily Dickinson, circa 1846-1847

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was an American poet who lived a complex and seemingly tortured life. She died at age 55 before most of her life’s work received recognition or was published. The Emily Dickinson Museum is located in her former home of Amherst, Massachusetts.

Emily is described as having suffered from depression and later possibly agoraphobia as she remained in her room, only speaking to visitors through her door. Her sadness is palpable in these words, written not long after her mother died:

“The Dyings have been too deep for me, and before I could raise my Heart from one, another has come.”

Emily Dickinson, 1884

I have personally been touched most by this poem:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers —

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all

And sweetest in the Gale is heard
And sore must be the storm —
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm —

I’ve heard it in the chillest land —
And on the strangest Sea —
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb — of Me.

Much more of her work can be explored through the Amherst College Digital Collections.

Peace 🕊 & 💗 Progress,
Colleen

500 Days of Women

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