A letter to Emily Dickinson: being a lover is in many ways different from being a poet but oh-so-similar too

Drawing by  Aru Lover

Drawing by Aru Lover

Dear Emily,

What heart wants is but abstract – we give it face, we give it voice. I yelled it to the world with all my strength and my world echoed back. I now understand the dash. A dash is a choice, a decision made by each one of us when we are on the verge. I chose to move at many of such dashes, yet I chose to stay at enough. My journey, as was yours, and as it is for any other man and woman, is full of dashes.

Being a lover is in many ways different from being a poet but oh-so-similar too. It is possible to burn with passion, and to be happy.

Emily, I wish I could tell you how much I see myself in you. How much I see myself in you is just as much as I see you in me. A pride so loud the world could hear; a sorrow so quiet not many can see. But I gave my heart what it wanted and I feed it regularly with love returned.

We are not our decisions, not our choices but the things we wanted. We want to save the world, to be better than what we are for others, but just because we cannot save the world does not mean we are not the warriors we always pictured ourselves to be.

Dear Emily, my poetry sees the light of day. The internet has made it easier though it can be just as hostile as the rest of the world. I open myself regularly; at times it makes me feel vulnerable too. But I am heard. I am heard by the small number of people who want to hear. They have their dashes too after all, and not always will my words be the best choice nor will they be chosen always.

If this ever reaches you, Emily, I want to tell you, you were heard. I want to tell you, you are heard by millions and have inspired several too. I am from the crowd, Emily. I am from your crowd. And in spreading your voice, we raise ours too.

Dear Emily, with words we live, with words we die.


Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Although part of a prominent family with strong ties to its community, Dickinsonlived much of her life highly introverted. After studying at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she briefly attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family’s house in Amherst. Considered an eccentric by locals, she developed a noted penchant for white clothing and became known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence.

Submitted to AtParasites by Kanwal Tariq