This post is part of Nonfiction Monday
(pub. 2.1.2012) 32 pages
A True Tale with A Cherry On Top
C haracter: Emily Dickinson
O verview from the jacket flap:
"They made a strange pair: one giant dog and one slight girl.
When most people think of Emily Dickinson, they picture a thin, sad-looking woman dressed in white, living alone in a big house, scribbling poems on scraps of paper.
But Emily was not alone. Her dog, Carlo -a large, floppy, drooly Newfoundland - was her constant companion, her 'shaggy ally' in the world. Together Emily and Carlo explored the woods and town around them, visiting friends and enjoying each other's company.
Marty Rhodes Figley's lyrical text and Catherine Stock's luminous art create a fresh look at this well-known, but seldom understood, American poet."
T antalizing taste:
"Emily shared her hopes, her dreams - her poetry.
Carlo listened, as a good friend should.
'I talk of all these things with Carlo, and his eyes grow
meaning, and his shaggy feet keep a slower pace.'"
and something more: The author, Mary Rhodes Figley, of Emily and Carlo is quite the Emily Dickinson scholar. She is a member of the Emily Dickinson International Society, and her academic paper on Emily and Carlo was published in The Emily Dickinson Journal. And, as a Frances Perkins Scholar at Mount Holyoke College, Figley took a class about Emily at the Emily Dickinson Homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts.
I particularly liked Figley's personal connection to this story, as she explained in the Author's Note: "After my Emily Dickinson class was finished, I volunteered next door at the Evergreens [Emily's brother's house] for a semester. When I walked down the path between the two houses, I could imagine Carlo chasing squirrels or being ordered off the porch by Emily's sister, Vinnie. He must have been a hard dog to ignore but an easy dog for Emily to love." Her description reminds me of my sweet lovable black Lab who sits by my feet while I write, and often nudges me with a wet nose when it's time to go for a walk.