Love In Bloom, A Heart Unbroken

Love, flowers and poems are everywhere as Valentine’s Day is a celebration of hearts and at Blindsgalore we have a tradition to highlight a famous love poem. This February, Emily Dickinson, is on my mind, not only as a famous reclusive poet but a love amiss poet. I am thinking about her writing poetry on scraps of paper, closeted in her Amherst house, shrouded from light and love, a woman alone in the Victorian era.

Victorian decor of the 19th Century indulged in grand ornamentation and excess of detail with every surface filled with objects and clutter. Victorian window treatments of the day were covered with ornate and heavy draperies and drawn to keep out the drafty winds and chill of the day. Highly decorated windows replete with cornices, tassels and cords dominated the decor style, complemented with dark velvet couches, wood furniture, embellished with flourishes of intricate carved designs. This excess of ornamentation and extravagant decor contrasts with the austere, repressed nature of the Victorian age. For sure, the window treatments were kept tightly shut, just as the emotions of women were bruised and crushed.

Although Emily Dickinson was a prisoner of the times, herself a solitary woman who rarely left her home and in later years, never left her house or engaged with other people, refusing all visitors. She found refuge in her room, writing at her desk (her actual room with a view) where she wrote over 1,700 poems that were never published in her lifetime.

Her “Homestead Home” in Amherst, Massachusetts has been restored and at least she was spared the darkness and heaviness of a traditional Victorian home. She had a breath of light and simplicity of style to her guarded life, where her imagination could roam freely in her beloved gardens and conservatory. She was a talented gardener and horticulturist and her intensity to beauty, flowers and detail allowed her to flee the ordinariness and loneliness of the day in her quixotic poems.

These actual images from Emily’s house must have been her inspiration as her poetry takes flight with a playfulness and deftness of wit that transcends her simple words of pure experience. The severity of her life departed as Emily Dickinson created short, nuanced poetry, distilling an idea to its essence, capturing passionate feelings- a look towards modern poetry. Emily’s window, below, is now clouded and shuttered but I can only imagine that her inner life was ecstatic as her words bloomed to set her free.

In her love poem, “Wild Nights”-Wild Nights!”, she longs for escape as the wind cannot hold her heart and longing for desire and love, abandons all caution to sail freely adrift on her own strength to moor in the paradise she has lost.

Wild Nights- Wild Nights!

by Emily Dickinson


Wild Nights- Wild Nights!

Were I with Thee

Wild Nights should be

Our luxury!


Futile-the winds-

To a heart in port-

Done with the compass-

Done with the chart!


Rowing in Eden-

Ah, the sea!

Might I moor- Tonight-

In thee!

This Valentine’s Day as a poetic personal tribute to Emily Dickinson, and for all of us whose dreams have been smashed, may you have many “Wild Nights” to set you free!

Wild Nights-Wild Nights!

by Katie with apologies to Emily


Wild Nights-Wild Nights!

Gone cold bars

Wild nights in stars

Not too far!


Fearsome- the rules

To a wit in rhyme

Crack open the reign-

Crack open new time!


Zoom to now-

Oh, my space!

Might I moor-Tonight-

Without haste!

Happy Heart Day!