Emily Dickinson’s ‘envelope poems’

La-la-ca-1115-emily-dickinson-34-jpg-20131121Brenda Shaughnessy at the LA Times:

In 2012, a daguerreotype surfaced that was thought to be of a midlife Emily Dickinson, causing an Internet frenzy. As far as we (the frenzied) knew, there was only one known photographic image of the poet. That 1847 picture, taken when she was 16, is enigmatic, extraordinary and a little unsatisfying. Her single expression is dual: both deep and blank, both innocent and knowing. Dickinson readers recognize this intoxicating, paradoxical doubleness well: It is so very Emily. What wouldn't we give for more of her? Just one more glimpse?

Perhaps we'd contented ourselves with that single image, but suddenly there was a chance that we could behold her mature face. We squinted and cocked our heads, trying hard to divine whether this woman in the “new” photo was truly Our Emily. I thought, reluctantly, that it wasn't. But now that the possibility had been presented, I was eager for another view, another angle of her.

The stunning art book “The Gorgeous Nothings” offers us this view — slant, as Emily liked things. In 52 color reproductions of the writings on envelopes, we still never see her face. But she shows us her hand.

more here.