She produced lot of art (poems) in isolation. But they got hidden!
It must had been so traumatic to Emily’s self esteem to be rejected by a publisher.
She sent 4 poems to T.W. Higginson who sent the poems back as “unworthy of publication.”
Still, Emily continued producing her art. She overcame rejection and criticism by producing hundreds of her poems during the next decade and final years of her life.
After her death, T.W. Higginson changed his mind and became editor and publisher of Emily Dickinson’s first four volumes of her work.
Alas, only after she’s gone! I wonder what a boon it may had been to Emily’s self esteem if he changed his mind while she was alive.
Emily knew her authentic self. She was not discouraged to celebrate more her gift despite rejection during her lifetime.
Somewhere inside her “being” and productive aloneness was the confidence to keep her writing.
Henri Nouwen once told of a story of a carpenter who walked the woods with his apprentice.
Passing by a beautiful oak tree, the carpenter asked his friend, “Do you know why this tree is so old, stately, and beautiful?”
“No ... why?” asked the apprentice.
“Precisely because it’s useless,” the carpenter responded.
“If the tree had been considered useful, it would have been cut and processed long ago. Since it was only beautiful, it stands alone, welcoming the weary to its shade.”