I have been reading Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters, along with critical and poetic essays (principally by Susan Howe) about Dickinson and her own “publication”: forty small bundles, known as fascicles, copied out in her own script and sewed together.
After her death, her bundles, the books she made, were ripped apart and spread across the floor. Editors, some with good intentions, some not, changed words, line lengths and Dickinson’s sequencing to make her poems more conventional; transcribers inked over at least one entire poem, then partial poems, and letters. It would be almost impossible to recover the original life and art of Emily Dickinson, though scholars are trying.
We do have Dickinson’s hand-written manuscripts, fortunately. The disbound fascicles are now online at Amherst College (https://acdc.amherst.edu/browse/collection/ed). Starting there, in the beautiful curves of her script, I am working to “un-alter” the poems and books of Emily Dickinson.
This painting is currently hanging at the Deerfield Arts Bank.