Saturday, May 01, 2010

A recreation of Emily Dickinson's garden is at the New York Botanical Garden. The point is to highlight the connection of flowers to her poetry.

To her, as to many Victorian Americans, flowers weren’t just beautifiers; they were moral and personal emblems. Dickinson, with her auburn hair, identified with the orange tiger lily and sometimes called herself Daisy, for a flower that symbolized innocence. She associated certain richly scented flowers, like roses and jasmine, with men and women to whom she formed emotional attachments. 

Emily Dickinson saw herself as Eve and the garden as Eden.  In the following stanza, she offers  herself as an alternative to Eve:
Put down the apple, Adam,
    And come away with me,
So shalt thou have a pippin
From off my father’s tree!

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