Archive for September 15th, 2021

Gorgeous Nothings

Emily Dickinson Envelope Poem

In this short Life that only lasts an hour
How much – how little – is within our power.
– Emily Dickinson, envelope poem

I have an early appointment so was going to post a short blog entry with a few words written to her aunt in 1874:
Saying nothing… sometimes says the most.
But before I could move the words to the blogsite, I came across the short poem at the top and an image of it that Dickinson wrote on the inner flap of an envelope. It’s included in a book called The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope Poems that documents the many bits of poetry that Dickinson inscribed on whatever was at hand when the spirit struck.
I find these bit and pieces interesting. It’s like having a porthole into the moment when a particular thought or inspiration hit the author. It gives the words that might appear cool and lifeless on the printed page a sense of humanity, of life. I equate it to the surface of a painting that shows mistakes, fingerprints or stray hairs. 
You’re transformed to the moment of creation, the moment of inspiration.  And that, for me, is an important addenda to the finished piece.
Okay, said too much already. As Emily said: Saying nothing… sometimes says the most.

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