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Friday, April 30, 2010

Visit Dickinson's garden and listen to her poetry

The New York Times describes the new exhibition, Emily Dickinson’s Garden: The Poetry of Flowers that opens today at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The program "considers Dickinson equally as a horticulturalist and a poet, and forges links between the two." According to writer, Holland Cotter:
"The garden itself is a kind of theatrical re-creation. No trace of the original plantings survive in Amherst. So like most museums, the Botanical Garden relied on imaginative research. Its staff, led by Todd Forrest, vice-president for horticulture and living collections, brought together varieties of plants that would have been popular in a western Massachusetts spring garden more than a century ago, paying particular attention to those mentioned — and there are many mentions — by Dickinson in her poems and letters.

To her, as to many Victorian Americans, flowers weren’t just beautifiers; they were moral and personal emblems.

Dickinson, with her auburn hair, identified with the orange tiger lily and sometimes called herself Daisy, for a flower that symbolized innocence. She associated certain richly scented flowers, like roses and jasmine, with men and women to whom she formed emotional attachments."
Cotter reports the exhibit includes "a program of readings and lectures arranged by Alice Quinn, executive director of the Poetry Society of America, that will include a marathon reading of Dickinson’s nearly 1,800 poems. It will run Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day ... A second marathon, garden-related — all Dickinson’s poems about roses, bees, hummingbirds and so on — is scheduled for June 12 and 13, the show’s final weekend."

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