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Emily Dickinson (Poetry Foundation)

Sometimes I feel like Emily Dickinson. This is not to suggest that I am a brilliant poet (if only!) What I mean is that sometimes I’d like to work in my room, alone and unknown, with no sense of urgency that my work should go out into the world.

I can imagine it so easily. I could wear white, like she did, and stay in my house. Keep my work in a box that only I open and rummage through. Keep quiet. Focus only on my internal life.

I’d never have to receive rejections or bad reviews. No more worry about whether the work is good enough or if anyone will care about it.

This sort of exile would also mean no exhibits. No web site. No blog. No friends who are artists. No connecting with like-minded souls.

And that, of course, is where the fantasy comes crashing down. Sometimes it feels like pressure to show work and to stay connected on the internet. But more often, it means connection, support, and community. Good and necessary things I wouldn’t want to do without.

So the white dress and the solitary attic will have to wait. I’m going to keep myself and my work out in the world. For better or worse it’s where we both belong.

[Read more about Emily Dickinson and find her poems]