by Emily Dickinson

The Dandelion’s pallid tube
Astonishes the Grass,
And Winter instantly becomes
An infinite Alas —

The tube uplifts a signal Bud
And then a shouting Flower, —
The Proclamation of the Suns
That sepulture is o’er.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is one of America’s most beloved poets. Most of her work was published after her death, and since then she has become an icon for American poetry.

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is dedicated to Deborah D., a dear friend, faithful reader, and lover of poetry. Deborah was thoughtful enough to let me know (since I am currently living in New York) that the New York Botanical Garden is hosting an exhibit titled “Emily Dickinson’s Garden: The Poetry of Flowers.” The exhibit was inspired by Dickinson’s life as an avid gardener. Known to be a recluse in her Amherst, Mass home, she was known in her lifetime as more of a gardener than a poet, though she always carried the latest poem she was working on in the pocket of her gardening dress and incorporated flowers and nature into her poems. Dickinson referred to herself as a dandelion. Read about the NYBG Emily Dickinson exhibit here.

Want to read more by and about Emily Dickinson?
The Literature Network
NPR on the NYBG Exhibit


  1. Gosh, thanks! I hope you are able to see the exhibit and wish that I could. I love phrases like “an infinite alas,” when it’s referring to something inherently finite (a season or emotion), but is tipping it’s hat to how permanent loss is felt, even though nothing we have is permanent. Emily = depressed Buddhist recluse? Merits at least an evening’s discussion if not a seminar in itself. The West Coasts misses you, albeit, not infinitely. We know you’ll be back someday. Thanks for the dedication — it’s better than one from Casey Kasem.


    1. Just fyi, the typos in my comment are all but killing me today. KILLING ME. WWED? She would garden her heart out and dash off a few words of brilliance, that’s what she’d fucking do. ::sigh::


  2. Wow! Thanks to (Yew) and Debra, I finally recognize my mentor (couple’d, of course, with the MockingBird)! I’m ashamed to say – given my (thyme) here, on Gaia – that until this AM the only awareness I had of ED was her reclusion. Thanks for the opening into yet another world!


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