17 July 2014

Poetry Thursday - I'm Nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickinson

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –  
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –  
To an admiring Bog!

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) left 40 handbound 'fascicles' of nearly 1800 poems, which she assembled by folding and sewing five or six sheets of stationery paper and copying what seem to be final versions of poems. The handwritten poems include a variety of dash-like marks of various sizes and directions - which were removed by early editors. In 1981 the original order of the poems was restored, thanks to detective work among the smudges and needle punctures by Robert W. Franklin. The "non-meaningful marks" have been the basis of Jen Bervin's "Dickinson Fascicles" (she is interviewed about new formats of poetry books here; "Artist books are so far ranging; I sometimes wish our conception of poetry could be more so," she says).

No comments: