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.

Times 2: the weird abstraction

Twenty-two words say: “His mere presence in the pulpit was majestic and fascinating, in the weird abstraction, concentration, solemnity of face, voice, mien, and manner.”

Wordlessly, this says:



“Tribute by Dr. Richard Salter Storrs.” Memorial Collection of Sermons by Edwards A. Park, D.D., LL.D, Professor in Andover Theological Seminary for Sixty-Four Years, ed. Agnes Park (Boston: Pilgrim Press, 1902), p. 12. https://archive.org/details/memorialcollecti00park/mode/2up

Daguerreotype by Mathew B. Brady, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004664036/. Cropped and post-processed.

Letter 142, The Letters of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson and Theodora Ward. Harvard University Press, 1958.

Alfred Habegger, My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson (Random House, 2001), pp. 310-313, “A Theology of the Feelings.”