This 19th century New England steeple
clock seemed an appropriate repository for
one of Emily Dickinson’s untitled poems
about time. Originally written on the back of
an envelope, it celebrates nature’s clock
with the song of the cricket announcing the
summer and its cessation heralding its end.
'T was later when the summer went
Than when the cricket came,
And yet we knew that gentle clock
Meant nought but going home.
'T was sooner when the cricket went
Than when the winter came,
Yet that pathetic pendulum
Keeps esoteric time.
A symbol of good fortune, crickets were
often kept in cages so that their song could
be enjoyed, a fate Dickinson might have
considered related to the subjugation of
women in her time.
The image behind the cricket on the clock’s
pendulum is a map of Amherst in the early
1800’s showing Dickinson’s home. The
only currently authenticated photograph of
Dickinson is from the Amherst College
Archives & Special Collections.
This is a unique book.
20” x 11” x 4.5”
Wood, glass, metal, prints on transparent film.