Word of the day: fascicle

"Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830."

Happy birthday, Emily!

If I had to choose one favorite American poet, it would be Emily Dickinson. She lived a quiet life at home, caring for her father as he grew old. From the outside, she looked ordinary.

But in her heart and mind, there lived an imagination so vivid and a spirit so large that she is now famous and loved, although she published only a few poems in her lifetime. Her poems speak to me because they look simple but are not, letting me use my own creativity to see what she saw.
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.
"Emily Dickinson died in Amherst in 1886.

After her death her family members found her hand-sewn books, or “fascicles.” These fascicles contained nearly 1,800 poems.

Though Mabel Loomis Todd and Higginson published the first selection of her poems in 1890, a complete volume did not appear until 1955. Edited by Thomas H. Johnson, the poems still bore the editorial hand of Todd and Higginson.

 It was not until R.W. Franklin’s version of Dickinson’s poems appeared in 1998 that her order, unusual punctuation and spelling choices were completely restored."


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