Miss Emily


Soon after reading the excerpt from Emily Dickinson’s poem, “The Moon was but a Chin of Gold”  in Firefly July:  A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeckzo and illustrated by Melissa Sweet …

The Moon was but a Chin of Gold
A Night or two ago—
And now she turns Her perfect Face
Upon the World below—
   -Emily Dickinson
(reprinted in Firefly July)
                                                                                                                                                                                  …a new book arrived at the library Miss Emily by Burleigh Muten and illustrated by Matt Phelan.


It’s a fictionalized account from the viewpoint of MacGregor Jenkins, the pastor’s son and playmate of Dickinson’s niece and nephew.  This story is set after Emily Dickinson withdrew from society to live in privacy.  However, the circus train is coming to town and Miss Emily plans an evening adventure for her niece, nephew and their friends long after bedtime.  Sneaking out of the house, pretending to be gypsies and mingling with circus performers… a night to remember.  As you would expect, the text is lyrical.  The illustrations intermixed throughout the book are subtle yet detailed.

Read the book and you will understand why the poem excerpt beginning “We never know how high we are…” is Emily Dickinson’s only poem highlighted in this book.

We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise.
And then if we are true to plan
Our statures touch the skies.
   -Emily Dickinson
(reprinted in Miss Emily)

                                                                                                                                                                       I’m saving this book for ML and I to read aloud this summer when she attends camp at Cirque de Vol.

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