On travels when KumKum and I are near enough to a poet’s grave or museum to pay a visit, we go. In this manner we have paid our respects to Keats, Ghalib, Melville, Wharton, Longfellow and Poe, and this time we were driven from Boston to Amherst to see the Emily Dickinson Museum, located in the house where she spent the major part of her life.
The docent who guided a group of seven was a retired lady, specialising in 19th century history, and had an intimate familiarity with the life of ED and her close family (sister Lavinia, brother Austin and future sister-in-law Susan). She said there were many myths about the poet – that she was a recluse, that no one in her lifetime knew she wrote poetry, that she never left Amherst, etc.
ED was a fond aunt to children who came to play in the grounds outside her upper storey bedroom, and would lower shortbread cookies to them in a basket. There is a museum of her memorabilia in Harvard University, at the Emily Dickinson Room of the Houghton Library,
Since July 2016 the Museum has allowed visitors to rent her bedroom for $100 an hour and sit and write at her desk:
The Emily Dickinson Archive makes high-resolution images of Dickinson’s surviving manuscripts available in open access, and provides readers with a website through which they can view images of manuscripts held in multiple libraries and archives.
The story behind the Emily Dickinson Archive, a collaborative project of Harvard University Press and a growing number of repositories that own examples of Dickinson’s original work. The biggest are Houghton Library, Amherst College, and the Boston Public Library.
Video of a Talk
'The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson', book by author Jerome Charyn who creates the poet in her own voice, with all its characteristic modulations that he learned from her letters and poems. He says she had a mischievous, playful, sexual side, and did not hide her sexuality.