dolls and birds

"Young Girl with a Bird" by Berthe Morisot
“Young Girl with a Bird” by Berthe Morisot

The lovely flower you sent me is like a little Vase of Spice and fills the Hall with Cinnamon – You must have skillful Hands – to make such sweet Carnations. Perhaps your Doll taught you. I know that Dolls are sometimes wise. Robins are my Dolls. I am glad you love the Blossoms so well. I hope you love the Birds, too. It is economical. It saves going to Heaven.
~ Emily Dickinson
(Letter to Eugenia Hall, c. 1885)

15 thoughts on “dolls and birds”

  1. Who wouldn’t love to receive a hand-written letter containing such beautiful thoughts! The words brought a smile to my face, as did the painting. Thank you Barbara. πŸ™‚

    1. You’re welcome, Joanne! Having dear Emily for a pen pal must have been such a pleasure and inspiration. And having robins for dolls must have been pure magic. πŸ™‚

  2. Imagining robins as dolls. What an evocative image–both the writing and the painting. Hoping you’re enjoying seeing some doll-birds making their nests in your neck of the woods.

    1. Oh Kathy, there are many wise doll-robins outside arranging their homes and settling disputes with many other local doll-birds. Wondering if the snow ever stopped falling out where you are – will have to get over to your blog very soon.

    1. Thank you, Sonali! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed this little combination. πŸ™‚

  3. Wow Emily Dickinson was one smart young woman. With so few words she skillfully
    let us know that she doesn’t care to play with dolls but loves birds – especially robins – and loves flowers…. “it’s economical. it saves going to Heaven”.
    Do you know how old she was when she wrote this?

    The painting is a perfect accompaniment to the quote.

    1. It’s very true, Emily was a spiritual and poetic genius. Interesting and sobering to me that she was about 56 years old when she wrote this letter, the age I am now. Birds are so wise – my mother has used them to deliver many messages and so much comfort and encouragement to me since she died, especially mourning doves and blue jays. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Rosie.

    1. Thank you, Sheryl! For some inexplicable reason I find combining pictures and quotes fun and addictive – and an effective way to relieve stress. πŸ™‚

  4. Beautiful, beautiful post! I constantly commune with birds. These words of Emily’s are at once innocent and wise. Such a special spirit – ageless! Thank you so much for sharing, Barbara. XO

    1. Thank you, Diane! Birds are such special creatures, the only dinosaurs who didn’t go extinct 65 million years ago! πŸ™‚ They do seem to have an ageless spirit and its no wonder Emily was so fond of them. *hugs*

  5. Hi. Interesting how words and paint can be used to express very similar ideas. Emily Dickinson was wise – loving what life has to offer. Jane

    1. And music, too, is a wonderful expression of ideas… Hearing the spring birds chirping and twittering outside my window just before dawn – one of life’s dearest simple pleasures… Dare I say, heavenly?

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