“Sumptuous Destitution” — Anne Carson

“Sumptuous Destitution”

by

Anne Carson


“Sumptuous destitution”

Your opinion gives me a serious feeling. I would like to be what you deem me.

(Emily Dickinson letter 319 to Thomas Higginson)

is a phrase

You see my position is benighted.

(Emily Dickinson letter 268 to Thomas Higginson)

scholars use

She was too enigmatical a being for me to solve in an hours interview.

(Thomas Higginson letter 342a to Emily Dickinson)

of female

God made me [Sir] Master—I didn’t be—myself.

(Emily Dickinson letter 233 to Thomas Higginson)

silence.

Rushing among my small heart—and pushing aside the blood—

(Emily Dickinson letter 248 to Thomas Higginson)

Save what you can, Emily.

And when I try to organize—my little Force explodes—and leaves me bare and charred.

(Emily Dickinson letter 271 to Thomas Higginson)

Save every bit of thread.

Have you a little chest to put the Alive in?

(Emily Dickinson letter 233 to Thomas Higginson)

One of them may be

By Cock, said Ophelia.

(Emily Dickinson letter 268 to Thomas Higginson)

the way out of here

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