Did you know the Library of Congress has a bunch of blogs covering a wide variety of topics? They never fail to be interesting. On the science and tech blog a few days ago they had a post about Emily Dickinson and science. You might wonder how the two are connected, but they are. Dickinson, as the post suggests, had quite a scientific turn of thought. Not to mention that Dickinson was a famous gardener and plant collector. Her herbarium has been digitized (via Page-Turner). The plants are so beautifully preserved and expertly labeled. I bet she would have been a really interesting person to know and walk with through a garden or down a country lane!
Speaking of the Library of Congress and poets, the LOC holds the archive of the poet Muriel Rukeyser. Not long ago a researcher discovered an unpublished novel in her papers. The novel, Savage Coast, was written in 1936 after Rukeyser had returned from Spain where she covered the People’s Olympiad in Barcelona, an alternative Olympiad to Hitler’s Berlin Games, on assignment for Life and Letters To-Day. The novel is finished but was rejected for publication. The rejection letter is still attached to what is the only known remaining draft of the novel. Now it has been edited and recently published. I love Rukeyser’s poetry and plan on buying a copy of the novel.
And while we are on the subject of poetry, Isabella found this fantastic quiz, if words were weapons, what poet would you be?. It is connected with a new book by Max Berry called Lexicon in which students are trained to use the hidden power of language to manipulate and control the minds of others. Those who are recruited by this organization adopt the names of famous poets in order to conceal their true identity. Am I weird, or do you think that sounds totally awesome too? And when I took the quiz, I got Elizabeth Barrett Browning so I’m practically a superhero.