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— Prairie Schooner, 52 (No. 1), Spring 1978, 90-108.

SUMMARY: Two Dickinson houses sit proudly side by side on a slight rise on Main Street in Amherst.  A hundred years ago, enclosed with hedges and fences and painted the same buff color, they made a family compound. The cupola of the Homestead — or Mansion — Emily Dickinson’s home, reached the same height as the campanile of the Evergreens, the Italian villa style house of Austin, her brother, and his wife, Susan Huntington Gilbert. Emily, from her bedroom on the southeast corner of the Mansion, could see due west to the Evergreens, a hundred yards away, its library and master bedroom facing her. At the spring equinox, March 22, a favorite time for Emily, the sun set directly behind Sue’s house. With this light pouring over and around the Evergreens, Emily the Egyptian, the sun worshipper, who as a schoolgirl had made Sue an idol and linked her with eternity, found a ready metaphor for an immense devotion. She once called Sue an ‘Avalanche of Sun!’”