January 31, 2010


The Gardener by Moi

New feet within my garden go

New fingers stir the soil

A troubadour upon the elm
betrays the solitude

New children play upon the green

New weary sleep below
and still the pensive Spring returns

And still the punctual snow

-Emily Dickinson

The " Belle of Amherst " was better known as a gardener than a poet when she died at the young age of 55. A poet that used flowers as metaphors -love, death,rebirth, life, Dickinson studied Botany from the age of 9 . She tended the garden at Homestead, which was well known and admired locally. Unfortunately, the garden did not survive. Close relatives recall " carpets of lily-of-the-valley and pansies, sweetpeas, hyacinths, daffodils, and peonies " .

Emily would often send her friends flowers with verses attached but found that " they valued the posy more then the poem. "

Today the family home and garden is a museum and visitors can sit in the restored garden and hear the poetry of one of America's most beloved poets.

For more info on Emily's garden visit The Emily Dickinson Museum .

Written by Carolyngail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago
All rights reserved


  1. Your painting is lovely! I didn't know that ED was known for her gardening while she was alive. Wouldn't it be pleasant to sit in her garden. Btw, I've joined you today and my Muse Day post is up! gail

  2. Emily is one of my favorite poets, and this is a place I would love to visit. Thanks for introducing me to a poem of hers I've never read before! I'm waiting for that "pensive Spring," too.

    My Muse Day post is up, too.

  3. Hi CarolynGail! I love your painting!! "MOI" that is you right? It is fabulous ... I am yellow and fauve envy!! As for Emily... well, I love the poem... her life and works are very close to my home and heart. I am working on a post... It is sad that most did not feel writing was a woman's place in Emily's day and so true that most preferred to think of her as a gardener rather than a poet ... it more suited a 'woman's role'. I venture to say that most could not understand her verse in any case. Thank the muse the times have changed. She had a beautiful conservatory too... again a more acceptable room than a writers space or desk. Her poetry was so inspired by her study and love of plants and their flowers... nature in general. She was so sheltered in the physical realm but her soul/spirit dwelled well beyond the confines of Amherst society (which she explored little being mostly a recluse except to a few.) She had an amazing depth and grasp of life and death... and her poems are rich in metaphors.;>) Wonderful... inspiring post!! Carol

  4. I forgot to write ... my Muse Day post is up too! Carol

  5. Her words still resonate with clarity, Carolyn Gail. Hers are among my favorite poems. I didn't know the background of her love of flowers, thanks for opening our eyes to her life a little wider. I joined in today as well. :-)

  6. What a beautiful painting! I am fortunate enough to live near Amherst and the Homestead where I last visited with grandsons at a 'children's circus' like the backyard affairs Emily arranged with her nephews. Jane Yolen has a new charming picture book about ED titled My Uncle Emily. My Muse Day post is up.

  7. I'm always in awe of people who paint and your painting on this post has me wishing for just a little bit of talent in that department. Luv the colors.

    It would be wonderful to visit ED's family home and garden. I should put that trip on my list of places to go.

    Computer issues for many months have kept me from leaving comments here and participating in Garden Bloggers' Muse Day. I've missed my visits to your blog.

    My Muse Day post is up.....a silly one.


  8. I love Amherst, love Emily. Excited to have my first Muse Day here at the asylum. Thanks Carolyn!

  9. Your paintings are always so beautiful -- what a talent you have. And the poem is so fitting. Emily is always a favourite. :)

    My GBMD post is here: http://wp.me/p2bM3-1bR

    Happy February! Can March be far behind?

  10. Love your paintings, Carolyn :) Happy February and Muse Day (I'm up)!

  11. I love your painting and the poem. Too bad her garden didn't survive. I don't have a Muse Day posting but will enjoy seeing everyone else's and maybe I'll join next month.

  12. Hi Carolyn! It's been far too long since I've visited, and to see your painting as I "walk in the door" is wonderful. I love your work. I'm fascinated by Emily Dickinson's love for gardening and would love to have a copy of her Herbarium reproduction, but it's costly. She was one talented lady, as are you.


  13. Lovely artwork, Carolyn...and I've always admired Emily Dickinson. I posted something today, though not a 'serious' work of literary art or poetry;-)


  14. I do like the painting and the poem Carolyn. Is it a self portrait - whoever it is the gardener looks most serene. My muse day post is up now. Happy February!

  15. Lovely painting. Hmmm... punctual snow, and over here it is torrential rain. Cheers, ~bangchik

  16. Happy February,
    My poem is up...though not as wonderful as Emily's.

  17. I love your painting, and I had no idea Emily Dickinson was a gardener even though I've been a lifelong lover of her poetry.
    Currently, I live in Nashville, TN, but we are moving to the Chicago area (Lake Bluff to be specific) sometime this spring. I know nothing about gardening in Illinois so I am looking forward to learning! As long as daylillies grow there, which I think they do, I will be happy!

  18. Love Emily Dickinson, Carolyn, and as always, love your paintings. They bring a splash of cheer into the dullest of days. Oh, and that cold snap? Has found us again. Brrrr! I hope it's milder in Chicago now, which will (selfishly) mean that it will get milder here again, one of these days.

  19. It seems that February has brought out the muse in all of you. Thank you all for stopping by and leaving your comments. I have visited each of your blogs and read your musings.

  20. Muse day - I love it! What a perfect way to combine the beauty of words with the beauty of the garden. I'm a new blogger, so I missed this one, but boy do I have ideas. Time to break out the old Wordsworth...I bet he's got a few things to say about life out of doors. Thanks for the inspiration! Kelly

  21. Hi Carolyn, You found me - even though I didn't have time to visit here yesterday. :-) I'd made my post ahead of time... and scheduled it to appear on the 1st. Thanks for visiting, Carolyn. :-)

  22. You are an incredible artist in every way. Garden design, website design, fine art. What else?? Am I missing something?

    Shirley Bovshow
    Garden World Report

  23. What a beautiful painting! You are very gifted. Would love to hang this in my sunporch...the colors are perfect!!
    I never realized that Emily Dickinson was better known as a gardener; whether a poet or gardener, there is definite beauty in her work!


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