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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Boxes, More Boxes, and Emily Dickinson's "Ebon box"....

Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886. Poems: Packet IV, Fascicle 8. Includes 20 poems, written in ink, dated ca. 1860.
Houghton Library - (14c, d) In Ebon Box, when years have flown, J169, Fr180; Portraits are to daily faces, J170, Fr174


Greetings, Poetry Lovers! I've missed you.  We've been happily gallavanting around for weeks to a family wedding, to our son's M. Div. graduation, to a belated "holiday" family gathering, and more.  Very grateful for vaccines.  


AND, life is currently crazy - we are also very grateful to have found a great weekend/holidays family-meet-up house, just a couple of hours away from our grown kids, near the mountains.  (We're closing in a couple of weeks.) Soon in addition to our small coastal cottage in the SC Lowcountry, we'll have a small house in the hills of the SC Upstate.  It's not far from where we got engaged in the mountains decades ago, or from our alma mater, Furman University - and close enough for easy day trips to Asheville, NC, one of our favorite spots on the planet. 


So we have boxes everywhere, with things from here we want to take there, and things I've bought along the way the last couple of weeks.  Seth was here after his recent graduation, and has just moved with his girlfriend to Boone, NC.  So he was elbow-high in boxes, and Thursday was his first time driving a U-Haul truck. From the looks of the pix they texted, he did just fine.


And finally, in the last bit of boxy news, I received an unexpected email on Tuesday that rent for my studio space downtown was going up - way up.  I was fortunate to rent it very reasonably for seven years, and I loved the dappled-light space in the 1889 building, with its high ceilings and windows and worn wooden floors.  But the new cost is beyond my artist's budget, so I'm boxing up my shop this week, too. Whew.  My artsyletters business is still alive and well - I'm just moving all my work stuff to our house and will have a larger footprint at one of the two local shops where I sell my wares.  My Etsy shop still keeps me hopping, and I look forward to devoting more time to it than I've been able to of late. 


Anyway, all of these logistical adventures had me looking for poems about boxes.  I discovered one by our dear Emily, and though it's not about moving boxes, its subject certainly resonates with my artistic endeavors.  (I hadn't read this one before; hope you enjoy!)


by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)



In Ebon Box, when years have flown
To reverently peer,
Wiping away the velvet dust
Summers have sprinkled there!


To hold a letter to the light —
Grown Tawny now, with time —
To con the faded syllables
That quickened us like Wine!


Perhaps a Flower's shrivelled check
Among its stores to find —
Plucked far away, some morning —
By gallant — mouldering hand!


A curl, perhaps, from foreheads
Our Constancy forgot —
Perhaps, an Antique trinket —
In vanished fashions set!


And then to lay them quiet back —
And go about its care —
As if the little Ebon Box
Were none of our affair!


You can find facsimiles of other Emily Dickinson poems, too, at http://edickinson.org.


Move yourself on over to Carol's Corner, where you'll find our wonderful Round-up and some gorgeous writing. Thank you, Carol!

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