Tim and I

In researching Emily’s poem #196, I learned that the “Tim” in her poetry is thought to have been an alter-ego of hers. Recognizing as she did, the inequities that existed between girls and boys/males and females during her time, she was often outspoken about them in her home. In public she wasn’t perceived as boyish, but inside her home, by her own family, her behavior was often likened to that of a “rascal boy”. Beginning in 1862 she wrote quite a few poems in a masculine voice.

My Carol and Emily poem #196 is dedicated to a dear friend of mine named Tim, whose physical body left this world far too soon. His spirit still lives on, in his children, grandchildren, family and friends, and precious memories of a really good guy live on in my heart. We miss you Tim ❤

The last time we were together, he took me to see some land he wanted to buy and shared his dream of starting an airboat business, taking tourists for rides on the St. John’s River and through the swamps and marshes of its estuaries. Although that dream was never realized, I can see him with that pirate smile on his face, doing that and thriving, something he spent many post-Vietnam years attempting to do.

Art by R. L. Lewis


Patterson, Rebecca. “Emily Dickinson’s ‘Double’ Tim: Masculine Identification.” American Imago, vol. 28, no. 4, 1971, pp. 330–362. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/26302664. Accessed 25 Apr. 2021.

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