Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm being haunted. By Emily Dickinson.

It is difficult to describe the fervor with which I believe Emily Dickinson is haunting me.

We met in the most typical of ways. "Because I could not stop for death." Eighth grade Honors English textbook. I was intrigued by her unorthodox use of dashes. She was intrigued by my hideous yellow-blonde highlights. Despite our differences at the time (she kept symbolically comparing life's trials to bumblebees, I kept decorating my AIM profile with boyband lyrics), Emily and I forged a friendship, and I considered myself a fan from there on out. We encountered each other in little ways for a few years: "Your Riches-- taught me-- Poverty" opened a novel I read sophomore year, and I analyzed "There's a certain slant of light" in senior AP Literature. But our love was rekindled in full a few weeks ago at Barnes & Noble, when I first laid eyes on a pretty, navy hardcover containing Emily's complete works. The volume and I experienced, I must say, instant chemistry, and I simply could not rest until I'd had my way with it.

Emily and I have been kicking back together a lot lately. Catching up, chillin' out. Maxin'. I've always drizzled little bits of Dickinson trivia into conversations to impress people, and now that the Lady in White and I have gotten reacquainted, I finally took it upon myself to verify that any of it is true. So, I did what anyone in search of fact verification should do: I skimmed the Wikipedia page. Then I went to bed. BAD. BAD, BAD IDEA. If you learn one thing from following my blog, NEVER READ WIKIPEDIA LATE AT NIGHT.

Basically, my sleep was plagued by unconventionally-punctuated nightmares. In my dream, I walked in my front door after a night of hanging out with Sebastian. Changed into pajamas, brushed my teeth, turned on the ceiling fan, pet my dog, got into bed. I stretched, I yawned, I leaned over to turn off my bedside light... and who should be sitting at my desk chair but ol' Emily. More specifically, it was a life-sized, breathing version of this picture. Still just as grayscale, but about twenty times scarier. I jumped up and screamed, but Emily Dickinson is no fool. She Apparated to the end of my bed. She blocked the doorway. She blinked menacingly in my face. For reasons unknown, Emily had it out for me, and I was goin' down.

I jolted awake for real then. I had to take nighttime cold medicine to relax my paranoia enough to sleep through the night. The whole time The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson sat on my floor, mocking me. It took well into the middle of the next day for my nerves to calm. In fact, I was reliving the dream in my head that afternoon as I read through a handful of accumulated text messages. "Read today's featured Wikipedia article," said one from Sebastian. Um, hell no, I thought to myself. Not going near that website for a day or so.

At Sebastian's house the next evening, as we were talking and looking at facebook and stuff, he remembered that text I'd never responded to. "Oh, I have to show you this," he said. He pulled up the Wikipedia homepage. "Look at yesterday's featured article."

Emily Dickinson. EMILY DICKINSON. The day after I freaked the hell out over the Emily Dickinson Wikipedia page, Wikipedia featured the Emily Dickinson Wikipedia page. That, boys and girls, goes a little bit beyond coincidence. We're entering into Parallel Synchronized Randomness.

So, obviously, I had to reread it. I'd found similarities between the two of us before, what with the sometimes reclusive depression and aversion to other people reading our writing, but now I feel an indescribable, perceptive connection to her. I texted my friend Leah (professorspork) about it. "Emily Dickinson fell in love with a man through correspondence. They met irl, he verbally abused her, and she went crazy." 

It must be noted that this-- her relationship with mentor Thomas Wentworth Higginson-- was pretty much entirely hyperbolized in my own head, and that it may or may not be completely untrue. But I have a feeling. Anyway, Leah's used to me, so she retorted, "She was also so painfully shy that she often spoke to visitors through a wall rather than meet with them. So."

"But that was AFTER she went crazy," I pleaded. "She was relatively social and involved before. Her family was important in the community. She liked dashes a lot." A skeptical Leah responded, "Didn't she have an affair with her sister-in-law?" 

A minor detail. "She tried to. Either way, I'm fairly positive I'm the reincarnation of Emily Dickinson."

"I'm glad you have that to look forward to," Leah said. "May I ask who you think I was in a past life? Mufasa is not an eligible response." 

Joking aside, though, never has a dead nineteenth century poet so messed with my brain. Part of me feels strangely correlated with her, like she will continue to mean something important in my life. Part of me feels like I should stop staring at a computer screen late at night. Either way, Emily and I have had a rough couple of days. And on THAT note, I'm going to go get some much, much needed sleep.

Chipotle burritos this year: 22
S'mores this summer: 2
Subscribers: 17,494

Hahahaha :-p. Bye, guys. Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3 

P.S. --Whoever made these things is NOT FUNNY. Geez louise.
--Commentor Johnny left me the coooolest picture ever on yesterday's post!
--Like everyone who's ever heard it, I can't get this song out of my head.
--Okay, seriously, goodnight.


A.J. James said...

Wow, that is a lot to have in common with a hero... (excluding that affair mess.) Hope your night goes better...

Kate said...

GOODGOD. that video is scary. don't get me wrong, i love me some emidickin (that sounds a lot naughtier in writing than it did in my head), but that is down right FREAKY.
seriously. gah. i don't think i'll sleep for a while.
time for some not-scary-at-all disney movies. disney fixes most scary things.

Adam said...

wanna have some real face-picture related nightmares?

loveacrosstheocean said...

that is ridiculous! You gave SUCH compellingly frightening examples of your similarities. Too weird! At least this isn't like, Sylvia Plath.

Heather Rodriguez said...

That is a FREAKING CREEPY E.D. video.

Katie said...

Chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool, and all shootin' some b-ball outside of the school...

Methinks you're prettier than Emily, yeah. I don't know much about her but at least you're different in that regard. I skimmed the wiki page but am too tired/lazy to do anything but look at the pictures. Plus you warned against wiki surfing before bed and I'm about to get my sleep on, so no thanks.

Missy said...

That video is CREEPY! Please, if you ever post something like that again, could you do it in, say, the morning? I'm blaming my lack of sleep (at least for tonight) on you!!

joy isobel said...

I know how you feel about the whole... being connected with a historical figure. I'm not really one for musings about an afterlife and the supernatural or whatnot, but I've always felt weirdly connected to Anne Frank. It sounds totally and completely ridiculous, but we have a ridiculous amount in common. This includes, but isn't limited to, identical birthdays. Creepy, yes? Anyways, Emily Dickinson is an amazing, talented poet. She actually grew up nearby where I live, which I find fascinating. Okay, this comment is too long, so I'll stop now haha. OH! And I thought I was the only one who was addicted to late night Wikipedia reading...

Mia said...

I keep having nightmares about me breaking into youtubers homes. I don't know why...its really rather odd

natalie said...

So I decided to click all the links at the end of this at once, and I wound up looking at a s'mores keyboard while Emily Dickinson recited a poem and the Ting Tings rocked out, all at the same. That was weird.

Anonymous said...

This lj entry reminds me of that HEY ARNOLD episode where one character stole a poem and Emily Dickinson haunted her until she told the truth.

creeeepy Hayley.

Anonymous said...

dear hayley,
i think you're...
come one, man.
you talked about having your way with a book.
how much better can that get.
and btw, i have that's not my name stuck in my head.
thanks for the link, i need to listen to it.
the 'they call me staaacy' stuck in my head.

jzmyn vrgs tlkks said...

Today, I clicked on a l ink from hayleyghoover's blog knowing that it linkin me *nudge nudge* to a song that usually gets stuck in people's head. When noticing it was 'That's Not My Name' i immediately tried to click out. I didn't make it in time. FML.

hahah your blog is awesome. i've been reading for a while, but was always too lazy to comment :D
bye! :]

Scott said...

The closest connection I have to 19th century poets is that I'm related to Emily Barret-Browning, and in turn Robert Browning through marriage. I flipped when I found out, I was so excited. I immediately bought both of their complete collections. Too bad they were both screwed up. Not to the same giant-apparating portrait degree, but close.

lindsey said...

She's creepy. Not that you're creepy, but she is definitely creepy. In a kind of good way. All good poets are kinda creepy.

Consequentially, did you know most of Emily Dickinson's poems may be sung to the tune of Gilligan's Island? I know, it's useless information. But try it out some time. If you're a nerd like me it'll blow your mind.

Lor said...

Like Hey Arnold!

Just, Ale said...

Maybe you were Emily in a past life, and she's haunting you so you can finish her life's work.

(That sounds funny when you read it out loud)

Or maybe she's still crazy as a loon. Even in the afterlife.

Allison said...

holy crappp
that vid was scary.
no worries; i was creeped by cedric diggory.

reading the comments, i noticed someone mentioned sylvia plath. geez; i JUST got 'Didn't I see this movie' from Next to Normal out of my head. i even recreated the scene in my pink fuzzy bath robe. i fail at life.

and to the commenter who said 'like hey arnold' i remember that one!

Phyllis said...

If I have a dead poet nightmare tonight I am definitely blaming you! That nightmare was very scary sounding, and that video was worse! ee

Marlena said...

I love Emily Dickinson and now want that book, but that video is terrifying. I suggest that if she attacks you again in a dream, you take some dashes and throw them at her like spears.

superrsharon said...

Ahh Emily Dickinson is creepy! And now because of the picture and video you posted, I will probably have a nightmare of her too! Ahhhh! I guess I will be sleeping with my nightlight tonight! hahaha

Leah said...

I feel like it's awkward to comment on a conversation I actually lived, so I won't.

I also feel like things that you sense as themes become themes. Like Jessica Darling and Barry Manilow. It's not a motif unless you notice it. And you've Noticed Emily Dickinson.

Sam said...

Wow, I think I just pooped my pants from watching that video. Creepy Emily Dickinson (talking no less), just wow.

Tani said...

This is probably one of your most well-written posts in my opinion. I'm absolutely terrified of Emily Dickinson now. I sat through the first three seconds of that video and I don't think I'm clicking play again (at least not until morning).

As far as That's Not My Name...that song is incredibly addictive. I heard it first maybe some months ago, and everytime I think I'm through with it, it comes back. Throughout the whole week of graduation practices earlier this month, I would randomly begin singing it (with a full british accent of course). Its great if you want to fill an awkward silence...or create one.

Krazy_4_Kelly said...

Great story from reading your blog. I was laughing and decided to tell my friend what you said about being the reincarnation of Emily Dickinson and this is how our convo went:

Me: I'm fairly positive I'm the reincarnation of Emily Dickinson. I love Hayley <3
Her: Who's that?
Me: A poet
Me: Wait, you mean who's Hayley or who's Emily Dickinson?
Her: I know who Hayley is!

Congrats. My friend knows you better than Emily Dickinson XD

Kaitlin said...

It's after 3AM and I'm reading an odd blog post that has made me cruise Wiki and allowed me to get a song stuck in my head.
That Emily Dickinson video will keep me up for hours. I loved her until my AP Lit class. Now her poetry scares me... and now I have this reeling image of Emily with a warped mouth... Singing "That's Not My Name"
Links are bad, Man... they are just bad.

ThePeterIs said...

This is completely unrelated...

I would hope that you already know about this, but since you're not raving about it in your blog, then maybe not. Basically, some people put up a Harry Potter musical on youtube, and it is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. And more people should know about it. So click the link!

Kaitlyn w/ a K said...

Dude, this is just like an episode of "Hey Arnold!" Phoebe plagiarizes a poem for the class poetry contest, and she wins. Then her Emily Dickinson trophy haunts her at night until she confesses. A moment of brilliant TV brought to you by my childhood.

Kaitlin said...

It's so wierd when stuff like that happens. Like when you learn a new word, then you read it four different places the next day. I wonder if it actually shows up more, or if it's just our perception, and we're more aware of it. Like our brain seeks it out to see if it's common and we just didn't notice before.

Awesome keyboard too.

Geez Louise said...

I love the "Parallel Synchronized Randomness" idea Hayley.
Maybe it's true?

Also your blogs provide me with much entertainment.
And when your blog popped up in my reader I skimmed over it before reading it properly and had a brief moment of excitement when you said "Geez louise" right at the end. Alas, not me. Damn my name and it's use as an expression of annoyance.

Olivia said...

That IS weird.

I think it's cool to feel a kinship with writers though.

I wrote a paper on death in Emily Dickinson's poetry earlier this year.

There are A LOT of those videos on YT. They're terrifying and horrible! Especially one of Susan B Anthony.

Clara said...

I don't think I've commented here before, but I logged in to say this.

Holy hell that video is so freaky. I'm going to have nightmares.

Anonymous said...

my friend and I did a video project on Marie Curie for our history class

since the assignment Marie Curie has been mentioned in several reruns as well as other mediums including ER, Gilmore Girls, Sabrina the Teenage Witch

it has become a running joke between us, that Marie Curie is stalking me

p.s. i read your blog obsessively and you are AWESOME

Ravenclaw2313 said...

That video was designed to induce nightmares I think. Actually it's quite possible that Emily Dickinson herself was designed to induce nightmares, like the little girl from The Ring. Not that I haven't fallen in love with her poetry over and over (Emily not the girl from The Ring), but seriously still creepy.

But then again if I continue to draw the parallel with the girl from The Ring maybe you are Emily Dickinson. I mean the actress who played The Ring girl is peppy and adorable, and so are you. Hmm all sorts of possibilities.

Nokorola said...

Oh my gosh, you're totally Emily Dickinson reincarnated. That video is really scary as is the picture featured in your dream. Maybe Wikipedia featured the article cause they saw that your IP address was visiting it and they said "Well if Hayley Hoover is reading it, it must be good", or maybe not.

Nicholas said...

Coincidence? I don't think so.

1. I read a blogpost by the incredible Kate(readsbooks) yesterday, where she featured a poem by ED

2. A poem, I have to add, that I once made a YouTube video about with me improvising at the piano!

3. I have that book.

Coincidence? I think not.

Anonymous said...

woahhh creeper picture of emily dickinson. and that video was just creeepy! ughh nightmares!!
haha ily hayley<33

Katy said...

Wow. Emily Dickinson, what a person to be haunted by. Nonetheless, it's creepy.

Freya said...

That is a little creepy, but I think you might be reading too much into it (Haha, unintentional pun...).

Christy said...

Want to know an interesting fact about me? I got kicked off my school's basketball team for reading Emily Dickenson on the bench instead of paying attention to the game.

Shelby Rebekah said...

Okay is it just me, or was Langston Hughes SUPER FOINE back in the day when he was you know...alive.

Brianna said...

Man, I clicked that picture expecting it to be just a plain picture but wow, that *is* frightening.

Larangutang said...

Okay, now I'll be having nightmares too. That video was just downright scary! But that keyboard looked really yummy and really fattening.

CRUNKRacoon said...

GREAT. Thank you so very much Hayley. Now that video link you placed so subtly is going to give me nightmares.
Otherwise... SMORE KEYBOARD?!?! =D

89ravenclaw said...

Night is the best, and only appropriate, time to visit wikipedia.

Because I was educated in CA, I am uneducated, and therefore have never read any ED, so rather than think of her brilliance, I think of the ED Hey Arnold episode (I'd link to a video, but I cannot find one D=)

Alice Wilder said...

where did sexy/unsexy go? I need my daily allowance of sexy Hayley!

Alice Wilder said...

Where did sexy/unsexy go? I need my daily allowance of sexy!

Tara said...

Ok Hayley, I really need a blog post about you obsessing over the HP musical on youtube (assuming that you have watched it, and like it) because I CAN NOT STOP WATCHING IT. It has been all I have been thinking of for the past couple of days. The songs are following me, and I will watch Act 2 Part 5 OVER AND OVER again. It is just brilliant.

toastburntbread said...

my friend had a dream that she was being haunted by me >=)

Brenna said...

Emily Dickinson was one of my favorite poetry units!

Those animations are horrifying and strangely... hypnotizing?

If Emily Dickinson attacks you in a dream, leave your room! I imagine she'll stay behind and you'll be quite safe.

&That picture of her will haunt me. Her mouuuth D: This is odd but when it gets reallyyy late and I'm reallyyy tired, my imagination starts playing with me, and scary (that word sounds weird?) images will just pop into my head without warning. For years it's been one from The Others, but I have a feeling Emily will be creepin' in tonight. Plus, it's two a.m. right now. Cue the Psycho music please.

Kristen said...

I just wanted to say that the description of your dream freaked me enough that I did not click on that emily link. I have a phobia when it comes to black and white pictures of dead people I'm not related to. I blame a viewing of "The Others" when I was sixteen on that, but I'm pretty sure I had it before that event. I hope you recover soon : )

Heather said...

This is going to sound really creepy, but after reading this blog post late last night, I had a dream that we were both talking about and crying over the newly released eighth Harry Potter book together... when we've never met or spoken to each other before. I'm sorry. I'm really not a creepy person, but I figured I would mention it anyway.

Erin said...

I was going to comment on how creepy that picture is and how freaked out I was getting by imagining your dream.

Then I clicked the link to the video. My poor backspace key has never been pounded so hard. It took me a moment to regain control of my breathing.

Meghan Dvorak said...

This blog spoke to me on many levels. I searched "The reincarnation of Emily Dickinson" and it popped up. I am haunted by her like I am haunted by Sylvia Plath. Thanks for writing this.
If you truly believe that she is more to you than just a writer, or if you feel there is a mess of synchronicites between her life/soul and yours, then I wouldn't doubt that you are what you feel you are. You may very well be a part of her "soul group" as they say. I would look into it further.

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Anonymous said...

I googled emily dickson nightmare, and this popped up. Because I had a nightmare about her the night before, after reading wiki, reading her quotes and watching that very video you have linked.
Except I'm a guy. She wouldnt let me leave her house and was tormenting me..
cool stuff

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Anonymous said...

In regards to Kaitlyn w/ a K

That reminds me of a real life plagiarism during the 1980s (maybe around 1985) when the Disney Channel had a poetry contest and some 12 year old girl won it with an Emily Dickinson poem, "Will There Really Be A Morning?" Back then, if you had Cable, Disney sent you a magazine. When I saw it, I remember thinking how the heck it got overlooked. Obviously, the people running the contest at Disney back then never read Emily Dickinson. I wonder if that episode you're thinking of was based on that.

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Sharon Jackson said...

I have a theory that Emily Dickinson was reincarnated as Enya. The way her music is paced feels like dashes, her lyrics have a weird-kind of Emily-Dickinson-feel to them, and...they are both recluses.

Maybe you're a reincarnation of someone close to her?