Imagine a person who is super talented but so incredibly shy that she almost never leaves her home. She loves plants and flowers, wears white dresses, and won’t answer the door when visitors come to her home.
Emily Dickinson was a true mystery to the people in her hometown, Amherst, Massachusetts. Most people did not know that she was a great writer who wrote hundreds and hundreds of poems. These were published after her death and today people realize that she had a remarkable gift for writing which she kept mostly hidden during her lifetime.
A visit to the Emily Dickinson Museum allows you to walk through her home and imagine what it was like to sit and write poems and letters by candlelight. You can also stand by her window and imagine Dickinson sending down a special basket of surprises on a pulley to her nieces and nephews. Her niece remembered: “She was not daily bread to us. She was stardust.”
Make sure to take the official tour and walk next door to Dickinson’s brother’s home which is in the process of being restored. The museum gift shop is also a fun place to find Emily gifts of all kinds. As you leave, you may want to pick up a fallen leaf or two from the yard to press inside your book of poetry. It wouldn’t be a commercial souvenir but something tells me that Emily would approve.
The Emily Dickinson Museum is the first stop on Massachusetts Trail Part 2, following the end of Part 1 in Lenox.
Rebecca Blake Beech