The Marriage of Music and Poetry

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Brown has tied the concept to sound/color synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that causes people to see color when they hear music. Her research has led her to believe that during Dickinson’s most productive creative period (1860–1865), she could have been experiencing this type of synesthesia. The time coincides with an eye affliction Dickinson suffered, which led the poet, who rarely left home, to travel for treatment.

Molly Brown at Bucknell is doing work to bring music and literature together within the academic sphere, as John Darnielle, Eminem, and Colin Meloy have done in the public one. This way for more.


Casey Dayan is a Rumpus intern and musician. He is finishing up his undergraduate studies in literature and anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he is working on a memoir and trying to one-up Jeff Buckley. Find his twitter here, @caseydayan. Find his band, “Moo,” here. More from this author →