Pen and Ink

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 

my claws. 

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  

are what can separate us  

from any whom we love.