Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Holy Grail of Bikini Photos

It's an obvious fact that guys like bikini pix: just look around the internet.

But among the more discriminating, there a longing for the artistic, the really true, the beautiful, to document a famous person in a vunerable moment: not dressed in her usual way, but in a bikini.

Emily Dickinson, possibly the best American poet ever, has very few photographs of her available.  One is illustrated below.  Recently, Dickinson scholars were heartened by the recent discovery of a portrait of her, this one in a pose with a friend.  Two thirtyish ladies side by side.

However, now young American literature scholars are rummaging the attics of old homes in Amherst, Massachuetts because of a recent rumor that Dr. Keith Fullerton, noted Dickinsonian scholar, found a cryptic note in a letter, "My friend Emily D. and I visited Mister Parker, photographer the other day and he persuaded us to do several poses in the two-piece swimming dress that were of our own fabrication.  I'm glad the tintype does not show our maidenly blushing to be in such a state of undress before a man; much less one whom we are not married to."

It ended with a cryptic, Dickinson-like verse:

A tiny swim dress makes Divinest sense
To a discerning eye --
But to wear it openly--
The starkest madness

This rumor elevated the brain of Delbert Philodene, aspiring but largely unsuccessful graduate student, to new efforts.  (Simply put, he was a dumbass.)  Although he was attempting to find research material in an admittedly overstudied area of Am Lit, he still longed for an explosive new insight.  Reading about this rumored excerpt from the letter raised his motivation to a fever pitch.

After all,  if he found that photograph, and it was indeed an actual one of the Belle of Amherst, that would be the Holy Grail of the Bikini Photos!  Think of what Playboy would pay to run it first!  And consider how it could result in a national reputation as a literature scholar for the finder.  Delbert imagined the variety of books he could write on the subect of the Real Emily Dickinson Revealed, and a full professorship in literature at a major East Coast university at an early age, say 30 or so. 

Delbert made a note to himself:  Sign up for speech lessons to lose his Midwestern accent.   And read How to Increase Your Vocabulary and Sound More Erudite.  It doesn't hurt of start now.  After all, there are the interviews for morning television.

Much madness makes divinest sense,
To a discerning eye;
Much sense,
The starkest madness.


  1. Please reassure me that there's not such a photo!

  2. When somebody comes up with a lithograph of Walt Whitman in a Speedo, I'll believe there's a picture out there of Emily Dickinson in a bikini.

  3. A fascinating idea -- but leave it to Bilbo to come up with one I DON'T want to see.

  4. A nice fantasy. I'll bet that English professors would be nonplussed at this humor, though.

  5. That's not a very good picture of her on the link.

  6. She might really look hot in a bikini.

  7. For the record, there is no swimsuit picture of Emily Dickinson. I was trying an absurdist idea. However, if Hollywood wants to explore this idea, I would be happy to assist. I recommend Amanda Bynes in the title role.