Dwelling in Possibilities

Art by Penelope Dullaghan for the Emily Dickinson Museum.


I dwell in possibility.

Hope is the thing with feathers.

180 years ago.

Emily Dickinson.

Scraps of paper, like snowflakes, flower petals, wings, or leaves, contained the vast interior world of this intriguing woman. Thirty-seven years of writing beginning with one word, awake.

From a life that I perceive as lonely, came some of the most eloquent and powerful words and thoughts in the last 200 years. Emily had a powerful fire burning in her. Perhaps so powerful that she couldn’t manage day to day relationships with people who didn’t own that same kind of flame.

A new friend, Sue from British Columbia, led me to this CBC Sunday Edition story about Emily Dickinson. Thank you Sue.

The illustrator and artist Penelope Dullaghan has created visual poetics in these two pieces of art published for the Emily Dickinson Museum. This art is alive with the natural world, interior life and thoughtful dreaminess found on all of Emily’s scraps of paper.

Artwork by Penelope Dullaghan.

I Dwell in Possibility, #657

I dwell in Possibility–
A fairer House than Prose–
More numerous of Windows–
Superior–for Doors–

Of Chambers as the Cedars–
Impregnable of Eye–
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky–

Of Visitors–the fairest–
For Occupation–This–
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise–

—Emily Dickinson


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