December 11, 2010
New York, NY
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Emily

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GK: It is Emily Dickinson's birthday, the poet who gave us "Hope is the thing with feathers" and "Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me." And "Success is counted sweetest by those who ne'er succeed, to comprehend a nectar requires sorest need." Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1830, died in Amherst in 1886, the last twenty-five years of her life spent in virtual seclusion from the world. She never married, never travelled except to Boston and Washington, and did not publish her poems.

SS:
I have attained a Pinnacle
Uncommon for a lady
To still be writing Poetry
Although one-hundred eighty.

GK: So why did you shut yourself up in your house in Amherst and not travel? Your father was a leader in bringing the railroad to Amherst and you didn't use it-----

SS:
I never saw a pressing Need
To journey to New York
As seagulls do not learn to read
Or penguins use a fork.

GK: And the seclusion? How about that? You spent years in your house and garden and when visitors came you went up to your bedroom. What was that all about?

SS:
I did not choose---- to turn away
Because I am------ Conceited.
I heard all that they had to say
Repeated and Repeated.
The Conversations ----Around me
Made me weak--- and Dizzy
And so I turned to Poetry
Which kept me very busy.
At grand Soirees at lovely homes
They whispered and they thundered.
I sat and wrote --- my Little Poems,
About Seventeen Hunderd.
Poetry kept my Soul alive
Society made me smaller
And so I got--- a Forty-Five
To discourage --- Gentlemen Callers.

GK: There is only one authenticated picture of you, taken when you were young, a rather severe looking young woman, hair parted in the middle and pulled back tight, and a black dress. There is another picture of you that people say is probably not authentic, you on skates and wearing an Amherst jersey and ---- this is authentic? The one with you holding a hockey stick?

SS:
I love to Skate around the Rink
As if it were a Fjord
I love to Lift my Stick and ram
Your Head into the boards.

How like a Zebra ----striped---- Shirt
The Referee skates by.
He does not see me ----hold your Arm
And poke you---- in the Eye.

GK: Well, thank you for talking with us and clearing up some of these things. And I hope you're enjoying your Immortality.

Eternity is endless song
Ever fresh and new
Eternity is not so long
As this Interview.

GK: Happy birthday, Emily Dickinson

(MUSIC)

GK (SINGS): She dwelt in possibility a fairer house than prose
She selected her own society, and we are those she chose

GK & HM: 
I guess you say who can make me feel this way
Emily, Emily, Emily,..talking 'bout Emily Dickinson.
HM: To make a prairie takes one clover and a bee and revery
And revery alone will do if bees are few.

GK & HM: 
I guess you say who can make me feel this way
Emily, Emily, Emily,….talking "bout Emily Dickinson.

GK: There's a certain slant of light winter afternoons
That oppresses like the heft of Cathedral Tunes

HM: Wild Nights! Wild Nights! Were I with thee
Wild Nights would be my luxury.

GK: She heard a fly buzz when she died, the stillness in the room
Was like the stillness in the air between the heaves of storm

HM: Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words and never stops at all

GK & HM:
I guess you say who wrote poems every day
Emily, Emily, Emily,...talking 'bout Emily Dickinson.

GK & HM (AND AUDIENCE):
Happy birthday to thee
Happy birthday to thee
Happy birthday Emily Dickinson

Happy birthday to Thee.