the belle of amherst

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.

12 thoughts on “the belle of amherst

  1. sustainabilitea says:

    I’m sure many poets and writers, artists of all sorts, get so involved in their work that they lose track of what’s going on around them. Anyone doing what s/he loves can have this happen. Good idea.



  2. rochellewisoff says:

    Dear Larry,

    Beautifully imagined and crafted. I’d say it’s a good thing for me that I write by electric lighting. I’d have burned my house down a long time ago.

    Thank you sharing the link. This story will linger for a while.




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