Friday, July 11, 2008


Well I've been on a long sabbatical. I was helping put up a wedding. And thank you. It was magical.

Working my way back into the play, I found a wonderful book: A Summer of Hummingbirds: Love, Art, And Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade" by Christopher Benfey. (Now I will NEVER think the subtitle for my current play is too long.) This book doesn't have a clear through line which is the typical structure of most books. But how could you expect that of a hummingbird? What you get is a structure like that of a hallogram: bits and pieces adding on to several themes and from the different points of view - different people, different art forms. What I walked away with was this inner colorful experience of that era mapping the shift of the United States from right before the civil war to right after. It's a seminal period. And timely, considering the developing crises facing the U.S. and the world.

And for dessert: a couple poems by Emily Dickinson

A Route of Evanescence
With a revolving Wheel--
A Resonance of Emerald--
A Rush of Cochineal,
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts its tumbled Head--
The Mail from Tunis probably,
An easy Morning's Ride--


I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

When landlords turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to window run,
To see the lttle tippler
Leaning against the sun.