March 21, 2011

First Days of Spring with Emily Dickinson

Written by Rosa Morgan Lockwood

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,--
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.
Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

On this second day of Spring, I rise early to see the sun touch the morning. It's my ritual to greet daybreak while Homestead is quiet and my family peacefully slumbers. With my blue net worsted shawl gathered round my shoulders and slippers on my feet, I venture to the casement to look out upon the world. There I spy the robin interrupting the morn with hurried, few, express reports when March is scarcely on. The red breasted bird, chirps, "Emily, Emily, come out and play."

This is the house I was born in, and I dare say, the one where Death shall kindly stop for me. It's a circumscribed life I lead, rarely leaving my room. I've selected my own society and shut the door on the rest.

I wonder if townsfolk consider me odd and call me “The Myth” because I'm uncomfortable around them, or if I'm uncomfortable because they think me odd. It's certain my reputation is in question because others keep the Sabbath going to church while I keep it staying at home.

My life has not always been a solitary venture. Grandfather Samuel, who helped create Amherst College, instilled in me a necessity for a classical education, and so I attended public school as a youth. Mother did not care for thought, and Father feared books joggled my mind, especially the Bronte sisters' novels. I was described as a very good child and but little trouble. If only they could have peeped in and seen my brain go round.

My school attendance was hampered by ill health and the deepening menace of death. It began when Cousin Sophia passed over, and Principle Humphrey died of brain congestion. My physician proclaimed I suffered from nervous prostration, but I knew it was my fear of one day sleeping the churchyard sleep.

I've written over eighteen hundred poems, many of them inspired by nature. I shall venture from my room today, out into the garden, and I invite you to do the same.

Below is one of my poems, an ode to this beautiful Spring day.

New feet within my garden go,
New fingers stir the sod;
A troubadour upon the elm
Betrays the solitude.
New children play upon the green, New weary sleep below; And still the pensive spring returns, And still the punctual snow.


  1. Great job, as usual, Rosa!

  2. I subscribe to a lot of blogs, mostly newsy and serious, but I have to say that I really take pleasure in opening and reading my subscription to yours, Rosa. I learn something every time, and still have fun.

  3. I'm thrilled to hear it! Please spread the word.