|Anne Carson [Marta Spendowska]|
“Emily is in the parlor brushing the carpet,”
records Charlotte in 1828.
Unsociable even at home
and unable to meet the eyes of strangers when she ventured out,
Emily made her awkward way
across days and years whose bareness appalls her biographers.
This sad stunted life, says one.
Uninteresting, unremarkable, wracked by disappointment
and despair, says another.
She could have been a great navigator if she’d been male,
suggests a third. Meanwhile
Emily continued to brush into the carpet the question,
Why cast the world away.
For someone hooked up to Thou,
the world may have seemed a kind of half-finished sentence.
But in between the neighbour who recalls her
coming in from a walk on the moors
with her face “lit up by a divine light”
and the sister who tells us
Emily never made a friend in her life,
is a space where the little raw soul
It goes skimming the deep keel like a storm petrel,
out of sight.
The little raw soul was caught by no one.
She didn’t have friends, children, sex, religion, marriage, success, a salary
or a fear of death. She worked
in total six months of her life (at a school in Halifax)
and died on the sofa at home at 2 P.M. on a winter afternoon
in her thirty-first year. She spent
most of the hours of her life brushing the carpet,
walking the moor
or whaching. She says
it gave her peace.
|Emily Brontë [Branwell Brontë]|