Observation at coarse focus: metaphor’s long operating distance

The metaphor: by Emily Dickinson, Fr741.

Its point of view is behind thick, scream-deadening glass, and the glass is nineteenth-century windowpane, wavy and bubbly. If it were optical glass, you would see, instead,

or, with a click of a rotating turret

Then full stop. Observe the yellow eye afterward, too, if you choose, but your only humbly honest recourse is probably not to dare to think about it.

Silver Practise: The 1847 Daguerreotype of Emily Dickinson

That’s the title of my new (and free) Issuu photobook about (1) photoshopping the only known photograph of Dickinson to bring out detail, and then (2) thinking about what then makes itself seen. Click here:

Zoology of the spectrum

Antithesis: wings having opened in the azure, it is no longer barren.



The thesis, below, is from the Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman (1821-1873). This meditation on the meaning of nature was first published in 1860 — that is, in the era of In Memoriam and a year after The Origin of Species — but in its time it went almost unread. Tuckerman’s brother Edward (1817-1886) taught botany at Amherst College and his wife was one of Emily Dickinson’s correspondents, but there is no evidence that Dickinson knew of Frederick or his work.