It’s a bright morning, seven a.m. April 16, 1862, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Emily Dickinson and her older brother Austin are to spend the day at his house celebrating his thirty third birthday with their family. For a while she is left alone. She contemplates her poem number 449. Death for beauty meets death for truth. Engrossed in a mystical vision of their confrontation, the consummate poetess loses all track of time. At about noon, Austin and their sister Lavinia arrive at the house and are stunned. Why had she entirely ignored the candle?
I have included a link to Dickinson’s poem, with an explanation of it, in order to give some insight into the circumstances surrounding my story.