Emily Dickinson

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Friday 23 December 2011
Ron Brownson

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Throughout Emily Dickinson’s poetry, she mentions God and Heaven.
I always find it fascinating to link her work with portraits from the time of the American Civil War. If ever there was a time when photography recorded emotion in the faces of people, it is in the ambrotypes made of soldiers taken in New York’s photographic studios. Here is such a pairing. An Emily Dickinson poem and a double portrait of unknown soldiers.

His musket on his breast;
Grant, God, he charge the bravest
Of all the martial blest.

Please God, might I behold him
In epauletted white,
I should not fear the foe then,
I should not fear the fight.