Visiting Emily Dickinson’s ‘Homestead,’ I was blindsided by emotion. I found myself standing at Emily’s writing desk (imagine such a thing!?), looking out her window, and from behind a stone wall came a white butterfly! I was absolutely incredulous. There I was at Emily’s desk, watching a white butterfly flit around on the lawn below, Emily’s white dress on the mannequin behind me. It was one of the most extraordinary moments of my life. I was dumbfounded, tearful. When I got home, Ms. Dickinson helped me to write the poem, “1.” I’d never written a Dickinson poem before, and never will again.
John L. Stanizzi’s full-length collections are Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallalujah Time!, and High Tide-Ebb Tide. His work is widely published and has appeared in Prairie Schooner, New York Quarterly, American Life in Poetry, The Cortland Review, Paterson Literary, Tar River Poetry, and many others.