Many members of the Dickinson Organization of Poetry Enthusiasts were in Croaker, Virginia, this weekend to attend a ceremony marking the sesquicentennial observance of when poet Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson’s third cousin, twice removed – at her request) dedicated a statue of his friend Abraham Lincoln in Croaker’s Presidential Park. Information about the event – and the now-classic poem Dickinson read at the event – is HERE.
In addition to the ceremony, I also visited the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in Williamsburg and Shirley Plantation in Charles City – and at even location I overheard some funny quips I thought I’d share!
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First, overheard at Croaker’s now-decrepit Presidential Park from an attendee inspecting the back of the deteriorating statue of Lincoln:
“Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the show?”
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Finally, I overheard this at historic Shirley Plantation -- featured in the AMC series "Turn" -- in Charles City, VA:
"This is where the phrase “stop calling me Shirley originated.”
All of these comments I overheard called to mind Emmett Lee Dickinson's now-classic poem, "I've heard another talk, sometimes" (below on the left). Dickinson's poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem, "I've heard an Organ talk, sometimes" (below on the right).
By Emmett Lee Dickinson:
I've heard Another talk, sometimes
In a Restaurant Booth,
And understood each word he said –
Yet held my breath, forsooth –
He’d risen up — and gone away,
His secrets still his Truth --
Yet — know not what was heard by me
In that old Diner Booth.
By Emily Dickinson:
I've heard an Organ talk, sometimes
In a Cathedral Aisle,
And understood no word it said –
Yet held my breath, the while –
And risen up – and gone away,
A more Berdardine Girl –
Yet – know not what was done to me
In that old Chapel Aisle.
If you want to check out other statements overheard by others, check out the hashtag #overhead on Twitter.