Monday, December 15, 2008

Little Emily wading barefoot after a Cardinal flower

In February I compared two poems Emily Dickinson wrote about the Abyss. In one she worries about the fate of her shoe:

Is Bliss then, such Abyss,
I must not put my foot amiss
For fear I spoil my shoe?

After her mother’s death Emily wrote: “Two things I have lost with Childhood, the rapture of losing my shoe in the mud and going home barefoot, [after?] wading for Cardinal flowers and the mother[‘]s reproof which was more for my sake than her weary own for she frowned with a smile.”

The muddy feet of the little girl certainly give a homey backstory to a contemplation of the Abyss (or was that Bliss?).

source: My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: the Life of Emily Dickinson by Alfred Habegger

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