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Mural of Emily Dickinson David FichterI cannot help wondering whether Emily Dickinson, that famous recluse, would not have been an avid blogger if she had lived today.

If some of those love letters to the world she wrote, scribbled on scraps of paper scattered about the house, might not have found their way into blog posts.

Imagine these gems from the few letters she actually did write as whispers sent through cyberspace.

Friday I tasted life. It was a vast morsel.

You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog large as myself, that my father bought me. They are better than beings because they know, but do not tell; and the noise in the pool at noon excels my piano.

I find ecstasy in living; the mere sense of living is joy enough.

A letter always feels like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend . . . there seems a spectral power in thought that walks alone.

It is true that the unknown is the largest need of the intellect, though for it no one thinks to thank God.

Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it.

You speak of “disillusion.” That is one of the few subjects on which I am an infidel. Life is so strong a vision, not one of it shall fail.

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?

You mention spring’s delaying—I blame her for the opposite. I would eat evanescence slowly.

The lawn is full of south and the odors tangle, and I hear today for the first the river in the tree.

A circus passed the house—still I feel the red in my mind though the drums are out.

I write you from the summer. The murmuring leaves fill up the chinks through which the winter red shone . . . . and frogs sincerer than our own splash in their Maker’s pool.

The career of flowers differs from ours only in inaudibleness. I feel more reverence as I grow for these mute creatures whose suspense or transport may surpass my own.

How vast is the chastisement of beauty, given us by our Maker! A word is inundation, when it comes from the sea.

Love is that one perfect labor naught can supersede.

Affection is like bread, unnoticed till we starve, and then we dream of it, and sing of it, and paint it, when every urchin in the street has more than he can eat.

Do not try to be saved, but let redemption find you, as it certainly will. Love is its own rescue; for we, at our supreme, are but its trembling emblems.

We turn not older with years, but newer every day.

Ah! Dainty—dainty Death! Ah! Democratic death! Grasping the proudest zinnia from my purple garden,–then deep to his boson calling the serf’s child! Say, is he everywhere? Where shall I hide my things?

Life is a spell so exquisite that everything conspires to break it.

I believe we shall in some manner be cherished by our Maker—that the One who gave us this remarkable earth has the power still farther to surprise that which He has caused. Beyond that all is silence . . . .

Not what the stars have done, but what they are to do, is what detains the sky.

To have been made alive is so chief a thing, all else inevitably adds. Were it not riddled by partings, it were too divine.

Home is the definition of God.

[On a friend’s death]   “Going home”—was he not an Aborigine of the sky?

[Written the day before her death]   Little Cousins, –Called back. Emily