The Definition Of Beauty

Thought Catalog


When Emily Dickinson writes about beauty, I see home — New England in winter, alive with fun; I am sinking by a glowing fire into chairs upholstered plushly, with embracing arms and embroidered pillows.

I smell wet ink and the pulp of fresh paper being etched with slant rhymes about death, about truth. I see books on shelves and caches of poems stashed in boxes under 4-post beds; they are coming out of hibernation, piles of words spilling over themselves and out onto a carpeted floor… I sense Verses, alive.

When she writes about beauty, I see carved desks of cherry and maple neatly tucked into bay windows that drink the sun in rays and stare out unselfconsciously at complicated chambers of life. I bask in the smooth richness of the heavy wood and imagine an orchard of ancestors rooted snugly under a blanket of moss and soft earth…

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