Last week I craned over glass cases at the Drawing Center on Wooster Street, examining the pencil script of Emily Dickinson creeping across scraps of envelopes, telegrams, and other bits of paper. I had never seen her handwriting before. I almost felt as if I were peering into the poet’s face, scanning her pores, and a few times averted my eyes in respect and some confusion. Did I have the right? What would she think of having her spontaneous drafts exposed for examination? The exhibit is closed now but I keep adding to it in my mind as I sit with the collected poems at night, re-reading, discovering.

Here is a link to exhibit specimens:

Here are two lines walking with me everywhere:

Then Sunrise kissed my Chrysalis–

And I stood up–and lived–

Emily Dickinson (#598, 1862)