Thursday, February 2, 2012

Because I Could Not Blog For Death, He Kindly Blogged for Me

Happy Groundhog's Day! Apparently, good old Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means 6 more weeks of winter. Only, I really don't understand how anyone knows if he "sees" his shadow. Honestly, I don't really understand the whole Groundhog's Day thing in the first place. I guess I could do my research on it, but I'm just not that interested. Or, I guess I could watch the movie Groundhog's Day, but that would involve me enduring the annoying, whining acting style of Andie McDowel....and I just don't want to put myself through that. No one should. Haven't we all suffered enough?

As you have  probably surmised, I am not going to blog about Groundhog's Day. Instead, I'm going to blog about Emily Dickinson. I have absolutely no clever transition or segue into this topic, so I'm just going to act like a global warming denier and skip any sort of logical explanation whatsoever.

If you are an Emily Dickinson fan, then you probably know most facts about her life. If you are not, you still probably know most facts about her life. Abridged version: Born to a prominent family in Amherst, Mass. Had a pleasant dad and a bitchy mom. She was wicked smart. Became obsessed with death. Spent the later years of her life in psuedo-seclusion. Gained notoriety posthumously.

That being said, here's some "fun facts" about Emily Dickinson. (reader note, when you type "fun facts about Emily Dickinson" into google, google laughs at you.)

  • Even though she had a thing for death and wrote about it quite frequently, she did not dress like the goth icon you would think she is. Instead, she wore mainly white. In fact, in her later years, she was notorious for wearing ONLY white clothing.
  • Only 11 poems were published during her lifetime.
  • Many think of her as a spinster, yet it is rumored that she actually had several affairs; even one with a minister and possibly a lesbian affair....not bad for a recluse.
  • During her lifetime, she was known as the "Myth of Amherst," due to her seclusion and pension for only wearing white. However, after her death and subsequent fame, she became known as the "Belle of Amherst." The public can be so fickle.
  • It was Emily's sister, Lavinia, who found her poems after her death in 1886 and pushed to have them published. It took a while, though, because Lavinia decided to solicit them to both her brother's wife AND mistress. Obviously, the two couldn't work together very well...
  • She wrote nearly 1800 poems. She was a busy little agoraphobe.
  • Guess what? She didn't just write about death and sadness. She also wrote about botany. AND she made cartoons and created funny, sarcastic Valentines. 
So, I can't think of a better Valentine or Anti-Valentine than an Emily Dickinson necklace, can you? And, it just so happens to be on sale today, 2/2/12. 

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