The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Emily's Death Day

Dickinson Open House

Yesterday was the 123rd anniversary of the death of Emily Dickinson. Every year on the weekend closest to her death anniversary her hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts marks the occasion with an open house at the Dickinson homestead and a poetry walk covering important locations in the poet's life. I didn't take the walk but I stopped by for a few minutes to check it out.

The front lawn of the house (above) is all torn up because a lot of trees and shrubs that did not exist in Emily's time were removed recently as part of an ongoing attempt to restore the house to how it looked when Dickinson lived there.

Here are the circumstances surrounding Dickinson's decline and death, according to the Wikipedia:

That summer she had seen "a great darkness coming" and fainted while baking in the kitchen. She remained unconscious late into the night and weeks of ill health followed. On November 30, 1885, her feebleness and other symptoms were so worrying that her brother Austin Dickinson canceled a trip to Boston. She was confined to her bed for a few months, but managed to send a final burst of letters in the spring. On May 15, 1886, after several days of worsening symptoms, Emily Dickinson died at the age of 55. Austin wrote in his diary that "the day was awful ... she ceased to breathe that terrible breathing just before the [afternoon] whistle sounded for six." Dickinson was buried, laid in a white coffin with vanilla-scented heliotrope, a Lady's Slipper orchid and a "knot of blue field violets" placed about it. The funeral service, held in the Homestead's library, was simple and short.

A considerable number of local history buffs and literary fans made the scene.

Inside quite a variety of Emily Dickinson products were for sale.

Dig this poster which I feel captures some of the passion of the fiery redhead.

The most popular place for people to hang out was Miss Emily's garden.

Here I am on her back porch.

Nostalgic Sighting

Afterwards we stopped in across the street at this odd little curio shop called The Claw Foot Tub.

Inside I saw this antique stove of a type I haven't seen since my grandmother died.

It was in mint condition.

Today's Video

Here's Jim O'Neill of Northampton's Iron Horse with David Byrne:

It's a shame about David and how weird he got.

A couple from Alabama and a couple from the Northeast were seated side by side on an airplane. The girl from Alabama, being naturally friendly and all, asked the couple, "So where y'all from?"

The Northeast girl replied, "From a place where they know better than to use a preposition at the end of a sentence."

The girl from Alabama sat quietly for a few moments and then replied:

"So where y'all from, bitch?"


Anonymous said...

Happy Death Day Emily!

Don Schneier said...

Psycho Killer? Qu'est-ce que ce?