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Gardens, poetry and Emily Dickinson June 9, 2011

Posted by therealtinlizzy in gardening, poetry.

Friend Stef posted today about Marta McDowell’s “Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: A Celebration of Poet and Gardener,” timely to me both in that I’ve recently undertaken to read (I think my words to her were “casually embarked upon”) Emily Dickinson, and a little less casually (but only a little) embarked upon gardening. I’ve Kindled up McDowell’s book to accompany my nibbling at Dickinson’s poetry while endeavoring to not completely fail at raising some edibles from my own freshman gardening project.

However, in the meantime, here’s a Dickinson that recently grabbed me both for its plain ol’ lovely nature-appreciative imagery as well as for its copious use of intoxication as a metaphor for being utterly smitten by the world (her inclusion of ‘debauchee’ makes me grin 🙂 :

I taste a liquor never brewed
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats on the Rhine
Yield such alcohol!

Inebriate of air I am,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

When landlords turn the drunken bee
Out of foxglove’s door,
Whenthe butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
leaning against the sun!


1. Stefanie - June 9, 2011

I hope you like McDowell’s book. I’ve got no drunk bees in my yard yet, but I do love when when the big fat bumblers show up.

therealtinlizzy - June 9, 2011

I’m liking it so far – it’s a nice compliment to Emily’s poetry, as well as fleshing her out as a real person, and giving me a context for knowing her as s person – rather than just the poet in a vacuum. And the growing-year layout is a nice structure for it. Thanks for the recommendation.

Oh and I’m very happy for you to have finished school! Can it be all that time has passed? 🙂

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