During one of my classes, we were told to create a project that focused on an author we had read during the term. I had decided to focus on Emily Dickinson and her supposed romance with her friend Susan Gilbert. While the romance was never confirmed, many historians and Dickinson fans argue that the idea is highly plausible, especially after reading Dickinson’s numerous letters and poems to Gilbert.
With this in mind, I decided to study these poems and supposed love letters and use sections of them to create my own poems that focused on their love story, thus allowing it to still be Dickinson’s own voice in the end.
The Dragon’s Hoard
I pursued to own a Susan of my own, designed with burnished
copper for hair, and piercing peridots for eyes, cut
with a jeweler’s precision. I reserved you
a throne within my mind, waiting to reap your benefits.
I underestimated your value, taking the low appraisals
of others to heart. You inspired feelings so like gems – you were radiant, rare, and unfortunate-
ly worth robbing.
I would give for an easier pain, than when
my riches shrank. Your riches taught me
poverty, which I now slipped my simple fingers through.
Maybe now you’re held fast
in a safer hand – a soft grip rather than
the bruising clutch of
Sue and Emily – Forevermore
The preacher, whose name is love,
foresaw the many a bitterness that have been,
but tis little I can do. I have had enough.
Let me be happy for all my sadness.
No matter what realm I forfeit, Lord, continue me in this.
Let her be Sue while I am Emily, both
in package lain. We will lie
side by side in the kirkyard, mingling our loves
together, soon to be simple trusting spirits
denied admittance to your hidden garden. For you alone