Thursday, July 29, 2010

Emily Dickinson Had Epilepsy, Where Does That Leave Me?

I just found out that Emily Dickinson had epilepsy- a fact that left her imprisoned in her room to singlehandedly invent modern poetry. This was a mixed blessing. The downside to this was, of course, epilepsy. But the upside was that the resulting social situation gave her the right kind of creative environment to fully plumb the depths of her capabilities. She was free to write whatever she liked at her own pleasure, answering to no one. Imagine if she had an editor constantly looking over her shoulder to tweak and revise her work.  Do you think she ever would have came up with:

    The Doom's Electric moccasin
    That very instant passed-
    On a strange mob of panting Trees
    And Fences fled away?

The answer to that question is no. Editors don't understand poetry that doesn't rhyme or make sense on a postcard. In fact, her first posthumous book had a lot of her poetry re-written to make "sense."

Anyway, I'll I'm saying is that I think I'm far too healthy to make up my own genre of anything and far too social to turn off the inner and outer critics. I think I may have a form of Body Integrity Identity Disorder only with my frontal lobe as the resented perfectly normal body part.

If you want to find out if you have epilepsy, try this:

Emily Dickinson,Dickinson,epilepsy,writing,poetry,body integrity identity disorder,B.I.I.D


  1. I played bass briefly for The Doom's Electric Moccasin.
    We were too ahead of the curve to be commercial.

    Fantastic post. I look forward to more of this.

  2. Fascinating information about Emily Dickinson. I would love to think through her brain for just one day.

  3. So glad you started a blog!! And I started a short story...i think we need to feed off each other more, good results are the outcome!