Monday, February 20, 2017

I'M NOBODY! WHO ARE YOU? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson: Review by Polly Guerin

Emily Dickinson ca. 1847
"I'm Nobody! Who Are You? is a provocative poem that solicits personal interpretation as do so many other poems by Emily Dickinson (b, 1830), the celebrated American writer with almost 1800 poems attributed to her legacy.
     Sadly, her prolific work was essentially unknown to contemporary readers and only a handful of her poems were published during her lifetime, and a vast trove of her manuscripts was not discovered until her death in 1886.
     For aficionados of Emily Dickinson's poetry, and for that matter anyone who appreciates poetry at its best, there is a rare opportunity to get in touch with at least twenty-four of her poems in various draft states, with corresponding audio stops at the exhibition I'M NOBODY! WHO ARE YOU? The life and Poetry of Emily  Dickinson on view at the Morgan Library & Museum,  through May 21, 2017.  The exhibition is organized in conjunction with Amherst College. It also features an array of visual material including hand-cut silhouettes, photographs and daguerreotypes, contemporary illustrations and other items that speak to the rich intellectual and cultural environment in which Dickinson lived and worked. Image Left: The only authenticated image of Emily Dickinson, Daguerreotype, ca. 1847. Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Gift of Millicent Todd Bingham,
Emily Dickinson Poems Roberts Brothers 1890
This compelling exhibition brings together nearly one hundred rarely seen items, including manuscripts and letters, I'm Nobody! Who are you? --- a title taken from her popular poem---is the most ambitious exhibition on Dickinson to date.
EMILY DICKINSON REDISCOVERED Often typecast as a recluse who rarely left her Amherst home, it is surprising to discover that Dickinson was, in fact, socially active as a young woman and maintained a broad network of friends and correspondents even as she grew older and retreated into seclusion. The exhibition explores a side of her life that is seldom acknowledged: one filled with rich friendships and long-lasting friendships with mentors and editors. Image Right: Emily Dickinson Poems Boston: Roberts Brothers 1890, Amherst College Archives & Special Collections  and Second Series 1891, The Morgan Library & Museum; gift of W. H. McCarthy, Jr.
The Morgan's exhibition explores a less well-known aspect of Dickinson's personal and professional friendships that Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum said, "Will surely delight and surprise exhibition-goers."  The exhibition covers Dickinson's Childhood years, A year at Mount Holyoke, Literary Influences & Connections, Lifetime Publications, and Posthumous Publications & Legacy.
GALLERY TALKS: I'm Nobody, Who Are You? Jan 27 at 6 pm and March 3 at 1 pm with Carolyn Vega, Assistant Curator, Literary and Historical Manuscripts. Tickets Free with museum admission, no tickets or reservations necessary.
      In Poetry and Song: An Evening with Patti Smith and Jesse Paris Smith inspired by the works of Emily Dickinson, Tuesday, March 21, 7:30 pm. Tickets $45, $35 for members. FILM: A Quiet Passion Tuesday, March 28, 7 pm. Tickets $15; $10 members.
     "THIS IS MY LETTER TO THE WORLD": Writing Poetry with Emily Dickinson, Friday, April 7, 7-9 pm. Tickets: $20; $15 members. Check out the Morgan website: Spring Family Fair , Sunday, April 30, 2-4:30 pm. Tickets free with museum admission.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! Being the poet that I am, of course no match to Dickinson, I plan to attend the workshop Writing Poetry with Emily Dickinson April 7th. Hope to see you there!!!  Fan mail always welcome at  Visit Polly's Blogs at and click in the left-hand column to the Blog link that resonates with your interest: for example, men remarkable visionaries, the fashion historian, amazingartdecodivas and just in case your are curious about my poetry go to

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