Emily Dickinson’s poem “ Because I could not stop for Death” is a 6 stanza poem with full and slant rhyme, complete with her signature dashes between and at the end of lines. The poet takes the reader on a mysterious carriage ride through time and into the next world with the character of Death. Poetry gives texture to life and with few words Dickinson transcends and elevates our everyday experience. The tangible and the intangible work together to blur the boundaries between two worlds.
In Wren’s installation, The Ghost of Emily, she crocheted Dickinson’s poem using shadows and yarn to re-imagine the verse. The body is expressed in the course quality of the wool used in the written word while the shadows are mere ghosts of what hangs in the foreground. In Plato’s cave, the chained prisoners watch the shadows as the puppeteers carry images that are projected on the cave wall. Shadows are reflections of reality and challenge our basic assumptions about the corporeal and the ethereal. In this work the viewer looks beyond the physical words and tries to make sense of the poem by focusing on the trace of its existence.