WHITE ON WHITE
the story of Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson is a poet. Later she was recognized as a genius of American literature of the XIX century. During her lifetime she published only eight poems. She led a strange way of life. She wore only white clothes, very seldom she went out to greet the guests, sometimes she even talked with the friends from behind the half-open door. The last 15-20 years she did not leave her house, becoming a kind of living legend in her hometown.
Emily wears long white dresses, edged with white lace. A white cat, white bread, white sheets… White is her favorite color…

Emily writes poems… In her own way… Ever since she was little… But they don't take her seriously. She writes on napkins, scraps of paper… She keeps them in the drawer with buttons and thread…

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

We had one of those in the dresser. Full to the brim with buttons – black, yellow, blue… Buttons yea big, all plastic and colorful – I've always gone gaga over baubles!

The button is for good luck, mom would always say as she put a button in the New Year's bread. We had lots of buttons. I was shy as a kid and would always twirl my buttons around when people talked to me, until they fell off. Mom would sometimes sew them back on, sometimes not… She kept them in the dresser drawer. While she was kneading bread, I would pick out the prettiest one – I would dump out the whole drawer, looking for the blue one.


'T Was such a little, little boat
That toddled down the bay!
'T was such a gallant, gallant sea That beckoned it away!

'T was such a greedy, greedy wave
That licked it from the coast;
Nor ever guessed the stately sails
My little craft was lost!
Heads - stay, tails - I'll go with you.. Heads or tails? button or dash... such hard...

Button – dash, button – dash, button - dash… Come on now, fall asleep quickly and dream of a button, it'll bring good luck - mom would always say. She gave me a button round as a ball when I took off to catch up with the actors at the train station.

Heads or tails? button or dash...

The emptiness weighs most heavily at night, but if you break it down over the years it will be lighter. If you ask me what year it is, what month, I don't know, I don't remember, I only keep track of the seasons. Sometimes I see things that happened a hundred years ago… They seem closer to me than other things that happened today before my very eyes. So I'm sitting here the other day and I can feel how I'm petting a dog's head, but I open my eyes and there's no dog in sight, mine passed away long ago… I wonder where he is now?


I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one's name – the livelong
June – To an admiring Bog!
Emily's garden is the only place where I feel good. As if I am at the center of the world. Glorious flowers peer at me from all sides, I don't know their names, but their scents bewitch me and I forget to think until I return to my room… But the moment I close the door, everything starts all over again…

I can't stand it, I can't stand anything anymore… This sensitivity to cold and heat, to the full moon and the new moon, Good God, who needs all that? Why all this suffering? I'm going mad in this room… Yet when I poke my nose outside, my heart starts pounding, my pulse races and I start to panic…

If only I could have hidden myself away for good, if only I could have disappeared… Travelling under her name, to see if they'd find me then… Too bad I can't discuss this with Emily. But she would cut me off in any case…


The heart asks pleasure first,
And then, excuse from pain;
And then, those little anodynes
That deaden suffering;

And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The liberty to die.
Since I left, I've only gone back home once. Mom and dad were already gone – I never did see them off. My brother was living in the house. He had thrown all their stuff out in the backyard.

Said he didn't have time to put it down in the cellar. It was all fit for the dump, anyway. He had tucked away my raggedy friend somewhere. Here he is now, sitting here, keeping me company. Ha. Raggedy Andy. Protecting me! He looks like a pirate. With just one eye and all.


Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility
How should you dream, so that the dream filled all your life, to the very top, till the death!

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.


Sava Ognyanov Drama Theatre
Rousse
(Bulgaria)
Author: Mayia Pramatarova
Director: Ventsislav Asenov
Scenographer: Rositsa Grancharova
Actresses: Lidia Stefanova and Mariana Krumova
2016
© 2016-2018 Nata Korenovskaya