Autodidact: self-taught

May
03
2012

My Wars Are Laid Away in Books by Alfred Habegger

by V. L. Craven

I’m surprised I hadn’t read more about Emily Dickinson before now. She’s definitely my sort of person in many ways. She wore the same outfit all the time (as noted in my previous post, I can certainly get behind that,)she loved to read, was a heathen, had red hair, liked people far away rather than up close and didn’t leave her house for decades. Prior to reading My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson by Alfred Habegger I only knew about the reclusive part. Well now I know loads more and I finally understand a good portion of her poetry. Before, I only knew I liked its delicacy and the way it sounded aloud, but now much of it makes sense.

I particularly enjoyed/appreciated Dickinson’s struggle with religion–she never became a full member of her church even though her entire family was–and her devotion to her work of growing into being a poet. Prior to this book I had some vague notion that Dickinson was rumoured to have had affairs (platonic) with women as well as men, but now I think she overwhelmed everyone she truly cared for in the way she was most comfortable–with words–heaping them upon those she loved with such ardour that no one could completely reciprocate and many took her to be a bit touched. I have a new respect and appreciation for this woman who, though she strove to perfect her art, probably didn’t know the enormity of her impact on the world of letters.

[This post is from a previous blog. Orig. date: March 3, 2008]

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