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Emily Dickinson will share poetry at library March 13 via actor Rhoda Jackson

Rhoda Jackson

Join the next Legacy program, "A Visit with Emily Dickinson: Dwelling in Possibility," presented by Rhoda Jackson of Park Rapids at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 13 at the Park Rapids Area Library. 

Jackson will present a side of Dickinson that may be unfamiliar and yet expand the image of Dickinson to a broader understanding of this American poet who seemed so isolated and focused on death.

Dickinson is one of America's best-loved poets and perhaps one of the least understood.  In the program, Jackson has created a setting which may seem a bit far-fetched to those who think of Dickinson as the solitary reclusive poet who only wore white. 

Dickinson was quite well-known in her hometown of Amherst for her gifts of flowers and baked goods that she often sent to neighbors, along with a verse or two. 

In addition to 1,800 poems, there are thousands of letters that she wrote in her 55 years.  The majority of these were written when she was in her late 20s to early 30s.  By the time she turned 35, she had written more than 1,100 poems, and had recorded 800 of these in small hand-sewn booklets. 

This dramatic presentation finds Dickinson at age 34 in 1865 as she returns to her childhood home in Amherst, Mass.  The Civil War has ended and Dickinson has started creating her booklets of poems.

Jackson has been involved with community theater in Park Rapids since 2002. She recently began studying the poems and letters of Dickinson and has created the program, primarily using Dickinson's own words from her letters and poetry. 

The poet revealed is strong-willed, witty and unconcerned with the social norms of her time.