Summer 2014 • Vol. XXXVI No. 3 A SYMPOSIUM ON EMILY DICKINSONJuly 1, 2014 |

Rowing in Eden

The only Commandment I ever obeyed—'Consider the Lilies.'                        (L 904) On my desk: an oiled stone that rests to serve as a reminder of its own heft and weight, and of the wall I am slowly building outside. Also on my desk: a grafting knife, a scattering of wooden plant markers, a half-empty bottle of ink, a book. The book is open to this poem, its initial lines: A Pang is more conspicuous in Spring In contrast with the things that sing Not Birds entirely—but Minds— Minute Effulgencies and Winds— When what they sung for is undone … (F 1530) In Emily Dickinson's poetry, the mind and the garden are one. The pain felt most clearly in spring attains its level of clarity because the spring garden is so beautiful, both visually and sonically, and is experienced so vividly as part of the mind's own landscape. In her poetry, the fertility of both mind and garden are dependent upon the safety of enclosure

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Ann Townsend is the author of Dime Store Erotics and The Coronary Garden (poems) and editor of Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry (with David Baker). She directs the creative writing program at Denison University and is a founding member of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

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The Late Ash Trees

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The only Commandment I ever obeyed—'Consider the Lilies.'                        (L 904) On my desk: an oiled stone that rests to serve as a reminder of its own heft and weight, and […]

The Mind Is Its Own Place

By Ann Townsend

The only Commandment I ever obeyed—'Consider the Lilies.'                        (L 904) On my desk: an oiled stone that rests to serve as a reminder of its own heft and weight, and […]

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