Happy Birthday, Emily

On this day in 1830 was born in Amherst, Massachussetts, a girl named Emily Dickinson, raised Unitarian, confirmed Christian as a teenager, and a veritable prophet who gave us a collection of poems that could rightfully be called America’s book of Psalms. 

Her simple yet profound spirituality — and her legendary reputation as a mysterious, ghostly personage that people referred to as “The Myth”  — place her prominently among the figures revered by the Reform. 

Below are reproduced some of her insightful lines, followed by perhaps her most inspired poem:

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church —
I keep it, staying at Home —
With a Bobolink for a Chorister —
And an Orchard, for a Dome —


‘Tis Beggars—Banquets—can define—
‘Tis Parching—vitalizes Wine—
“Faith” bleats—to understand!


Our Lord—indeed—made Compound Witness—
And yet—
There’s newer—nearer Crucifixion
Than That—


My period had come for Prayer—
No other Art—would do—
My Tactics missed a rudiment—
Creator—Was it you?

God grows above—so those who pray
Horizons—must ascend—
And so I stepped upon the North
To see this Curious Friend—

His House was not—no sign had He—
By Chimney—nor by Door
Could I infer his Residence—
Vast Prairies of Air

Unbroken by a Settler—
Were all that I could see—
Infinitude—Had’st Thou no Face
That I might look on Thee?

The Silence condescended—
Creation stopped—for Me—
But awed beyond my errand—
I worshipped—did not “pray”—