Jon gave me a beautiful book called Emily Dickinson The Gorgeous Nothings. It’s filled with photos of the envelopes that Dickinson wrote many of her poems on. And it is gorgeous. Every page an envelope shape, some simple rectangles, some the more complex shapes made when the envelope is spread open. Each with an address on one side and a poem on the other side. Each a small fragile treasure, like an abstract painting about line, edge, shades of white, softness and subtly. The words, often indecipherable, add to the mystery. I imagine to Dickinson it was just something to write on, but it’s become so much more.
I was inspired by these envelope poems this afternoon when Jon and I went for a ride so he could catch the sun on the barns and cornfields on Rt 313. I left my small travel sketch pad home, so I scoured the car and found an old, opened piece of mail and a pen in the glove compartment. Then I started to draw.