It may have been Emily Dickinson who struck the first spark.
Certainly her story fascinated me. The eccentric spinster who never left her home and never allowed visitors to see her. Dressed always in white, in the fashions of her youth, she sat in the darkness on the stairs, listening to the conversation in the sitting room. If she liked what was said, she would send in a glass of wine and a poem she had dashed off just that moment. After she died, her sister found nearly two thousand poems stuffed into her bureau, in all stages of composition. For the next sixty years, Emily’s friends and family struggled to find an audience for her poetry, of which only six had ever been published. Now Emily Dickinson is considered one of America’s finest poets.
I first read about Emily Dickinson in my mid teens, when I too was writing compulsively every day. I was stricken by shyness and an overwhelming sense of my own oddity. Girls my age permed their hair, chatted up boys at the bus-stop and stuck posters of Duran Duran on their walls. I read Wuthering Heights and The Bell-Jar, wrote a poem a day, always had at least