This morning, we opened The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry to the Biographical and Bibliographical Notes in the back of the book, and found this:

Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886), American Poet. She lived most of her life in her father’s house in Amherst, eventually becoming a recluse and dressing only in white. The extent of her work wasn’t discovered until after her death, when her sister found a small box containing 900 poems collected in packets (gathering four, five, or six sheets of folded stationery loosely held together by thread looped through them in the spine, at two point equidistant from the top and bottom). The total eventually came to 1,775…

Her definition of a true poem:

“If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.”


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