The Emily Dickinson Fifty-Dollar Bill

Art, Writers


See more American literary icons on American money by Shannon May.

And, by the bye—

In his last novel The Last Novel, David Markson lamented a lack of—

America’s Emily Dickinson dime?

—this preceded by:

Before the Euro, the portrait of Yeats on Ireland’s twenty-pound note.

America’s Whitman twenty-dollar bill, when?

The Melville ten?

“I Am in Danger—Sir—” — Adrienne Rich

Literature, Poetry, Writers

“I Am in Danger—Sir—” by Adrienne Rich

“Half-cracked” to Higginson, living,
afterward famous in garbled versions,
your hoard of dazzling scraps a battlefield,
now your old snood

mothballed at Harvard
and you in your variorum monument
equivocal to the end—
who are you?

you, woman, masculine
in single-mindedness,
for whom the word was more
than a symptom—

a condition of being.
Till the air buzzing with spoiled language
sang in your ears
of Perjury

and in your half-cracked way you chose
silence for entertainment,
chose to have it out at last
on your own premises.