It happened in Amherst in 1886. When Emily Dickinson died, the family discovered eighteen hundred poems hidden in her bedroom. On tiptoe she lived, and on tiptoe she wrote. She published only eleven poems in her entire lifetime, all anonymously or under a pseudonym. From her Puritan ancestors, she inherited boredom, a mark of distinction for her race and her class: do not touch, do not speak. Gentlemen went into politics and business; ladies perpetuated the species and lived in ill health. Emily inhabited solitude and silence. Cloistered in her bedroom, she invented poems that broke the rules of grammar and the rules of her own isolation. And every day she wrote a letter to her sister-in-law Susan, who lived next door, and sent it by mail. Those poems and letters formed a secret sanctuary. There, her hidden sorrows and forbidden desires could yearn freely.

Mirrors, stories of almost everyone, Eduardo Galeano (translated by Mark Fried)