Yellow rose, yellow rose,
lived in seclusion, was
never a wife;
wrote of her garden most
talking with God, Satan,
Death, all her life.
There’s an old suggestion that all of Emily Dickinson’s poetry can be sung to the tune of ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’.
I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.
(Brave words, but I think that waves would have surprised her with their complexity and power and sensuousness.) There’s a newer suggestion that she lived so reclusively because she suffered from epilepsy, and wanted to hide it as much as possible out of a sense of shame.
Strange woman, strange life, strange little poems… but remarkably insightful, accessible, and word-for-word memorable.
My double dactyl on her was recently published in The Asses of Parnassus – thanks, Brooke Clark!
“Emily Dickinson” by Amherst College Archives is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.